If the Sun exploded, would the radiation reach Earth before the light of the explosion?

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Offline creadyhome

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Chris Ready  asked the Naked Scientists:
I've just completed a full month of listening to your newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/ [nonactive] while I work. I've averaged 6-7 hours of listening per day. newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/ [nonactive], keep it up.

So my question is....
If the sun were to explode today and assuming that it would give off a lot of nasty radiation.

Would we be able to see the sun explode 8 minutes later or would the nasty radiation get here slightly before or after the visible light?

I guess I'm really asking, does all light travel at the exact same speed (from infrared to gamma radiation)?
Cheers from Canada

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/05/2010 22:30:02 by _system »


Offline Ophiolite

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The electromagnetic radiation would arrive at the same time as the light, since light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Other radiation, composed of particles (protons, electrons and some heavier nuclei), would arrive later. This would be days later if they travelled at the same rate as the solar wind, but in the hypothetical explosion they might be a little faster than that. And to confirm the underlying answer to your question: in a vaccum all light travels at the same speed, c, around 300,000 km/sec.
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