Does a supernova clear out a planetary system?

01 November 2009

Question

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?

Answer

The answer is yes. It's the death of the star. The star's 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 it's 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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