Monday, January 09, 2017

Problems of tense make me tense


Per WordNet ...

First use: "[A] grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time."

Second use: "[I]n or of state of physical or nervous tension."

From a piece at The Christian Science Monitor:


A group of astronomers has predicted that, five years from now, two faraway binary stars currently orbiting each other will collide, creating an explosion so bright that it will be visible to the naked eye. If accurate, the so-called "red nova" would be the first ever to be predicted by scientists on Earth.

By studying the stars in these final years before the predicted collision, scientists hope to be able to gather valuable information on how binary stars behave in their final years before this kind of explosion. Such observations could provide valuable insights into certain universal mechanisms that are not yet fully understood by astronomers.

The story of the 2022 prediction actually starts in 2008, when a star known as V1309 Scorpii suddenly exploded, temporarily brightening considerably in the night sky.

V1309 Scorpii didn't explode in 2008, nor will the nova in question come into existence circa 2022.

Both of those things happened (if indeed the latter thing did happen) long ago, about the time the Han Dynasty came to an end in China and the Severan Dynasty did likewise in Rome. That is, they happened in the 3rd century, Current Era. The light from the events had to travel for 1,800 years to reach our eyes.

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