I recently read an article where it mentioned that the solar system could be born out of a supernova explosion (death of a previous star). In case there was a supernova, wouldn't there be a possibility of a neutron star or black hole somewhere close to solar system?

  • $\begingroup$ There is this "Calvera" neutron star, only seen in x-rays. Distance very uncertain, several hundreds of light years away: arxiv.org/abs/1608.03005 $\endgroup$ – Pieter Mar 22 '18 at 6:55

I don't think the article you read meant that the Solar System had been born directly from a particular supernova. Rather, it means that the material that makes up the Solar System (especially the heavy elements, beyond iron in the periodic table) was produced in earlier supernovae somewhere in the universe.

You need the immense pressures found inside supernovae to fuse the heavy elements so gold, silver, uranium. platinum etc. were all formed in supernovae.

As for timescales, the Solar System is about 5 billion years old. The universe is 13.7 billion years old. So it was already about 8 billion years old when our sun began to form. There had been plenty of time for many cycles of supernova formation to occur by then. In terms of distance, our sun orbits the galaxy centre in 200 million years, so we could've made 25 circuits of the galaxy since the sun formed. So any contributing supernovae don't need to be nearby.

Of course, it's entirely possible that there is a nearby neutron star, but that would just be chance and there would be no implication that it had been particularly involved in the formation of the Solar System.

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  • $\begingroup$ I assume your last paragraph is making the point that SNe had been seeding the whole galaxy with heavy elements that had been well-mixed within the spinning galactic disc by the time the Sun condensed out of its cloud. As distinct from my first impression reading the paragraph, that our pre-solar cloud had been sprayed with the debris of relatively stationary SNe as the cloud whizzed past them on its circuits around the galactic centre. $\endgroup$ – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Mar 22 '18 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Chappo Yes - the point is that us and any supernovae have been spinning round the galaxy many times since the SS started to form. Any debris from earlier SN has been well mixed on a galactic scale since then. The stuff that makes up Earth must've come from hundreds (maybe thousands.., millions..) of supernovae. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Bravo Mar 22 '18 at 8:10

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