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Black Astrophysicist Helps Superman Find Home Planet

Posted: Dec 06, 2012

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of The Hayden Planetarium and an astrophysicist, appears in DC Action Comics #14 to help Superman locate Krypton, his home planet, so that he can see his home planet on the last day of its existence, a day before it is destroyed.

In the comic, Dr. Tyson locates Krypton for Superman, who is visiting the planetarium in New York City. He locates a planet 27.1 light years from Earth -- true to the comic book story's portrayal of Krypton. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. "You can't see a planet at that distance. You can only infer that it is there," Tyson said on National Public Radio.

Krypton was located in constellation Corvus and it is warmed by the star, designated LHS 2520, which possesses a red, highly turburlent surface, somewhat cooler and smaller than the sun.

Dan DiDio, co-publisher of Burbank, Calif.-based DC Entertainment, said it was important to have the comic book story.

“This is a major milestone in the Superman mythos that gives our super hero a place in the universe,” DiDio said in a statement. “Having Neil deGrasse Tyson in the book was one thing but by applying real world science to this story he has forever changed Superman’s place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night’s sky and say---’that’s where Superman was born.’”

DC Comics approached Tyson about appearing in the issue. "I gleefully accepted to help Superman in his time of need. Wouldn't you?" he asked the interviewer.

The comic book is now available in comic book stores and at other retailers.

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