View Full Version : Strength of heliosphere vs. supernova

2012-Apr-01, 09:04 PM
How far from Sun would a Type II supernova have to be to blow away the heliosphere to 1 AU on the upwind side?

2012-Apr-02, 02:25 AM
No solid answer for that; the distance varies with solar activity and whatever neighborhood the Sun happens to be in. For a possible point of reference, though, I read an article in Astronomy some years back about the Geminga pulsar that suggests that its parent SN might have been as close as ~300 light-years; the article speculates that when its shock front hit the Solar System thousands of years later, it could have still been strong enough to push the heliopause as far in as Uranus's orbit.

2012-Apr-02, 04:03 AM
I think way to close is an effective answer...


I agree with Romanus that there isnt going to be a real solid answer to that. There are way too many unknowns about what happens close to a supernova to really say.

2012-Apr-02, 02:54 PM
Iron-60 in marine sediments on Earth is taken as evidence of solar system penetration by SNe shock waves multiple times in the last few million years, bringing lots of water ,too. The OB stars in the Centaurus Association are the leading culprits, and may have been responsible for episodic wetting of Mars. pete