Supernova Breeds, Supernova Kills

The Universe holds uncountable mysteries—the ones that humans unendingly explore. Coming to understand how small percentage we occupy in the spacious sky stirs the scientists to trace the Earth’s beginning, and possibly, ending. And they unfolded the nature phenomenon: supernova.

Let’s begin with how the world, the galaxy we live in was created. Out of various contemplations the wise men have undergone, apparently one theory is firmed for us to believe in—that it was all started with a Bang. Once a great swirl of gas and dust accumulated altogether, and suddenly all began to expand in a dramatic phase to form a solar system. The situation was remarked by an implosion of stars where the accumulated materials exploded violently, which is called supernova explosion.

Supernova, or supernovae is a term used when a star collapsed and formed a dense material, so compact that even a spoonful of the collapsed material weighs 90 BILLION kilograms (Bryson, 2003). With such amount, the star reserves a massive energy—ready to explode and starts a whole new creation. The star is also equipped with certain gravitational energy that is able to pull everything around it, even the light.

Given that supernova holds an enormous energy to create a Big Bang, it becomes a two sided knife. Supernova can also destroy everything around it, sip the whole planet and even solar system to breed new life. Experts mention that the explosion of supernova will not threaten humanity, since we are in the safe distance. It will need as close as ten light years distance from the star for us to have a severe, or even a slightest apocalypse effect of the explosion. And for one star to burst into such massive explosion, it has to be ten to twenty times as massive as the Sun. Luckily, the closest star fulfilling such “requirement” is fifty thousand kilometers away.

So for now we can safely declare that supernova will not destroy our planet, but as the Universe continues to be dynamic, future is not exactly within our reach to predict. When the time really comes, it is perhaps best when we simply breathe and enjoy every second we have left on Earth. And do not worry, because the same supernova that kills will also breed a fresh, breathtaking, coy, and probably even better Universe than the one we have right now.


*this article is inspired by Bill Bryson’s book “A Short History of Nearly Everything”

*image is from here.