The story explains the importance of finding these particular Gamma Ray bursts quite well for the layman. Apparently the star going nova is a mere 470 million light years away. Not exactly a next-door neighbor, but still in the same cosmic zip code.
I do find it odd that it doesn't once mention the most important aspect of Supernovae from a human POV: it is these events that create most of the residents of the Periodic Table of Elements. This is fact. It is not opinion. It is proven beyond any conscious doubt and refutes any alternative ideas, philosophical or just plain personal, that purport to describe "Creation" otherhow.
Why the author of the Post article, Guy Gugliotta, doesn't mention this even briefly, is completely beyond me. If it weren't for this fact alone, Super Nova would be nothing more than a pretty sight, the majority of which no one anywhere would ever see or care for in the least. I don't want anyone to proselytise science. But he's a darn good reporter and I think he's dropped the ball in this small, but incredibly important way.
I truly don't care if a sentient and even omniscient "first cause" put this material reality into play. I've fantasized about such stuff, but there is no way to tell with our present body of human knowledge, so I'll not put forth on silly superstitions of my own. For that same reason, I'll not be compelled by anyone else's silly suppositions. Not even when cloaked in the smock of science. Show me the money? Show me the evidence, at any rate. If it's reproducible and observable, regardless of anyone's mind-meanderings, it is then sufficient and only then, compelling in a Legal sense.
Okidoke. Rant over. Please enjoy the pics of creation currently in progress.