How cool would it be to watch the earth blow up from a safe distance?
Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist extraordinaire, can sometimes seem like a character in a superhero comic. Now he is one.
Tyson, the charismatic director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, appears in DC Comics’ newest Superman issue, helping the Man of Steel glimpse his home planet, Krypton. The scene is poignant: Superman observes the planet just in time to witness the explosion that devastated it shortly after his birth.
When DC Comics approached Tyson to allow his likeness to appear in the issue, he didn’t just sign off and go on with his day. He worked with the writers on the storyline and ended up identifying a real-life star that could serve as the basis for Krypton’s sun, called Rao in the comic book series.
On Thursday morning, Tyson invited a few reporters to his office at the American Museum of Natural History to explain how he “found” Superman’s home solar system—and why he thought it was worth doing.