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Paper: A Distant Planet: Finding Superman's Krypton
Volume: 501, Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VIII
Page: 227
Authors: Ricca, B.
Abstract: In 2012, Neil deGrasse Tyson made headlines when he appeared in a Superman comic book and pinpointed a real planet (located in Corvus) that matched the description of Superman's homeworld, the fictional planet of Krypton. This story tracked all over the world. Why? I will look at the figure of Superman, whose backstory—orphan from an exploding planet—is somehow known by everyone from the age of eight on. I will look at how specific astronomical phenomena (in the sky and in the news) may have inspired Superman's young teenaged creators in the 1930s to create this iconic modern myth—a myth, like many, grounded in astronomy. My goal is to show that comics—which we normally think of as juvenile, throwaway entertainment—actually tried to base themselves (and certainly were inspired by) actual astronomical events in the thirties and forties, made more accessible to the public by new scientific explanations, including a real supernova that may have inspired the destruction of Krypton.
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