Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: What If There was a Super Nova on Alpha Centauri? Or any star 4.3 light years away.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    1

    What If There was a Super Nova on Alpha Centauri? Or any star 4.3 light years away.

    Hi,

    First of all I am new to the forum. So greetings. I have a question that is probably kind of weird. I know Alpha Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. I also know that it is not
    a Red Giant or Super Giant star. Not nearly yet. So the time for Alpha Centauri (A and B) to end its life is millions and millions of years away. But as a hypothetical. Or actually maybe the question would be better if there was a Star near the end of its phase a Red Giant and approximately the same distance away as Alpha Centauri and it did super nova. Like some time around the now time frame. What would happen. And what would the implications of that be to us?

    I know that the light from the Super Nova wouldn't reach Earth until Four years away after it happened. And I am guessing that the event itself would be as bright as the Full Moon in the sky. And definitely lasting. In both the night and the day time. But would anything harmful happen to Earth or our Solar System. Like as we saw the super nova would there be like a shockwave or damaging Ultraviolet radiation or something akin to Solar flares (in the visible or invisible light spectrum.) that would alter life on earth.

    Also, this is the harder question I am guessing. But would debris from that Super Nova eventually come to earth or be a danger to our solar system. I am guessing the debris would take tens of thousands of years to get here after the event. I am guessing since we have this ridiculous news cycle now, where it's impeach impeach impeach, war, war, war, they keep it going every day. Would something like a Super Nova happening in the range of a Alpha Centauri be a continuous deal, like literally never ending in the newsólike for hundreds of years. Because they knew that some level of damage would come eventually. And then another level of potential damage ó eventually.

    Like ok now guys, the worst thing is just seeing this really bright spectacle in the sky and get used to it because it is going to be a normal sky artifact.. But no danger.

    A thousand years later.. Ok now guys remember that Super Nova (that you can still see visible) expect this to potentially happen.

    A thousand years later.

    And so forth.

    I am a novice on this subject. And I know this is purely fiction. But it is something I think is interesting. And at least a relevant question to other stars in the Galaxy that may be close to a star that is about to super nova. I would think that for sure their would be a shockwave that could disrupt the orbits of the planets. But I am really clueless on how quickly that shockwave would come.

    Thanks

    Grimpachi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    22,029
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda Siebe View Post
    ...if there was a Star near the end of its phase a Red Giant and approximately the same distance away as Alpha Centauri and it did super nova. Like some time around the now time frame. What would happen. And what would the implications of that be to us? ...
    It would be very bad. The supernova would release 10^53 ergs, and and is 4x10^18 cm away, so 4 pi r^2 we would be at a place getting 5x10^14 ergs per square cm spread out over a few months. The atmosphere would be stripped away and the oceans would boil. If you hid deep underground the bath of neutrinos would make your flesh and everything around you highly radioactive. Thousands of years later, some debris would hit the dry dead cinder of a planet that we used to live on.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,012
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda Siebe View Post

    I know that the light from the Super Nova wouldn't reach Earth until Four years away after it happened. And I am guessing that the event itself would be as bright as the Full Moon in the sky.
    Just adding an interesting fact to the previous post, but actually, it would be much, much brighter than that. There is talk now about the possibility that a relatively nearby star (Beetelgeuse) might go supernova, and it is 640 light years away, but still will be brighter than the moon when it explodes.
    As above, so below

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,843
    You can find a list of the possible dangers from relatively nearby supernovae, and some references for further reading, in this document:

    http://spiff.rit.edu/richmond/answers/snrisks.txt

    If a star at just one parsec (roughly the distance of Alpha Centauri) were to explode as a Type II supernova, as Betelgeuse will someday, then it would appear in our sky -- at its peak -- only slightly fainter than the Sun; maybe one-twentieth to one-fiftieth the brightness of good ol' Sol. For many purposes, the night would appear almost as bright as the day, for a few weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda Siebe View Post
    Hi,

    First of all I am new to the forum. So greetings. I have a question that is probably kind of weird. I know Alpha Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. I also know that it is not
    a Red Giant or Super Giant star. Not nearly yet. So the time for Alpha Centauri (A and B) to end its life is millions and millions of years away.
    Billions of years. Also, they aren’t massive enough to go the supernova route. It is still an interesting question about the effects of a nearby supernova, but we don’t have to worry about the Alpha Centauri stars.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,935
    Here's a fun one:
    Pretend Gliese 710 is a supernova progenitor that goes off in 1,283,000 AD.
    Would Earth be sterilized?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •