If the sun had a white dwarf, what would it be like in our solar system?


Most white dwarf companions are within a few billion miles of the primary star, and this would be a catastrophy for our solar system. Most of the planets would never have formed where they are and would have been ejected from the solar system. Perhaps only Mercury and Venus would have been present, but given all of the gravitational perturbations by the distant companion, even Venus would have been a long shot in such a crowded binary system.


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All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the
NASA IMAGE/POETRY Education and Public Outreach program.