Science Questions

Does a supernova clear out a planetary system?

Sun, 1st Nov 2009

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Sharon Wade asked:

Does a supernova, in other words, the death of a star clear out a planetary system completely of everything that used to orbit the star?


The answer is yes.  Itís the death of the star.  The starís gravity is what holds things in orbit around it and if the star blows itself to pieces, then it will completely decimate the material which is in that system and that would destroy unfortunately any planets.  Eventually, our sun will blow up like a red giant.  The one that should go supernova, I think itís a bit too small but it will cook us but it won't blow apart.  But there are stars which do blow themselves to pieces and they could take things with them.


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