How close a supernova would have to be to wipe out all life on Earth

Supernovas are created during the last moments of a star's life. These gigantic explosions can wipe out galaxies and the planets inside them. Should we be concerned about one being too close to our Solar System? Following is a transcript of the video.

The cosmos can be a dangerous place for life. About every 50 years a star explodes in our home galaxy, the Milky Way. These powerful eruptions are called supernovae.They can emit the same energy in a single instant that our sun will generate in over 1 million years. Needless to say, if a supernova goes off close enough life on Earth – as we know it — would perish.

But just how close would one need to be? Astronomers estimate we have a comfort zone of about 50 light-years.That’s about 27 times the size of our solar system. Any supernova closer than that and — well, you get the idea.50 light-years may seem like a comfortable distance, but we’re actually in more danger now than the past. Earth is currently moving through a peanut-shaped region of space called the “Local Bubble.” About 10 million years ago, astronomers think a neighborly cluster of stars went supernova, spewing their gaseous guts across the galaxy, which created the Local...

12 Published By - Business Insider - 2017.12.07. 19:45
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