So the safest place to be if a supernova
occurs is very far away from the supernova. A
supernova is considered close to the Earth if it's
less than 600 trillion miles away from the Earth.
Supernovas that are this close and would be a
problem for us are estimated to occur about 2
times every billion years. Though this is a rare
event, experts think that one of the Earth's big
extinctions happened this way about 500 million
years ago that killed 60% of all living things in
the ocean! What happens is that when a star
explodes and becomes a supernova, it produces
super energetic light called gamma radiation that
breaks down the atmosphere. The atmosphere is
like a big blanket that keeps the Earth safe from
all of the radiation from space, so if it breaks
down, a lot of living things die. If this happened
near Earth, the only safe place would be far away
from Earth because there would be no safe place to
be on the planet anymore. Though if you had to
stay on the Earth, you would want to be in a
bunker with very thick walls that could block out
some of the radiation.
Though realistically, the radiation would kill
many of the ocean creatures at the bottom of the
food chain so if we didn't die directly from the
radiation, we would die from starvation. Although
the explosion of a supernova is quick, it leaves
behind a cloud that will still emit harmful gamma
radiation. So basically, if there were a
supernova, there wouldn't really be much you could
do unless you could travel to a distant planet.
Click Here to return to the search form.