Would a galaxy disappear if all of its stars went supernova?

We have the answer to this intriguing question

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If all of the stars in a galaxy went supernova, you would be left with a supernova remnant. Image Credit: NASA

If all of the stars in a galaxy went supernova, you would be left with a supernova remnant. Image Credit: NASA

Asked by Neil Breen

If all the stars in a galaxy went supernova the structure would not disappear, although what would remain from the explosion would no longer be called a galaxy!

When massive stars end their life in a supernova they throw off the shells of their material into space to create a supernova remnant. This means that the object that was once called a galaxy would instead become a huge cloud of swirling gas and dust. Only stars which are at least eight times as massive as our Sun are able to go supernova at the end of their lives.

Galaxies tend to be full of stars of all different sizes and so there is virtually no chance all of them could go supernova simultaneously.

Answered by Zoe Baily at the National Space Centre

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