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In this question it is suggested that the planet Krypton is somewhere between 27 and 2000 light years from Earth. And in this question it is suggested that it took Superman between 2 and 20,000 years to get to Earth. (But prior to the events in the movie Superman Returns Superman took a 5 year leave of absence to go see the remains of Krypton, and then return to Earth). And some of the answers to this question suggest that Superman travelled along with Kryptonite to earth.

So if Superman was launched in a spaceship as a baby (and he left at such a rate as to be clear of the exploding planet), and the remnants of Krypton were just accelerated by the exploding planet, how did the Kryptonite get to Earth in the same time frame as Superman?

Was Superman's "baby ship" non-powered and only just stayed ahead of the debris? But if the ship traveled at supra light speeds, how did the Kryptonite achieve approximately the same velocity?

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    It sounds like you're asking about the 1978 movie specifically, rather than the comics, or any other medium. Either way, you should probably edit your question to be clearer about which continuity or continuities you're asking about, as the answer won't be the same for all of them. Jan 11, 2022 at 4:32
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    Generally if the continuity addresses it - I think the FTL drive dragged some of the debris with the rocket or through a wormhole. (Smallville for example) But there's probably just as many versions that figure the rocket was only slightly ahead of the debris with no exotic physics invoked despite the distance. Obviously there's a lot of continuities to consider which is beyond my ability. Jan 11, 2022 at 6:07
  • @LogicDictates While watching the 1978 movie prompted my question, I am asking in general. While the answers to questions I linked to seem to cover multiple continuities, I was hoping that there was something would hold true for a majority of continuities.
    – Peter M
    Jan 11, 2022 at 13:30
  • @Peter M - There'd definitely be different answers for different continuities. And in the specific case of the 1978 movie, there is no clear answer in terms of the evidence available, so we can only speculate on that one. As for whether any one answer might cover multiple continuities, or most of them, that'd require checking each of those continuities individually, which involves a lot more legwork than answering the question for one continuity specifically. Jan 11, 2022 at 17:18
  • @user14111 That fact is one of the answers in one of the questions I linked to.
    – Peter M
    Jan 12, 2022 at 1:10

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In the Bruce Timm Superman cartoon you can see the rocket open a jump point that also has many kryptonite meteors enter at the same time. See the end of this clip.

Including my earlier comment since the DCAU is a very specific case that may not apply across all continuities: "Generally if the continuity addresses it - I think the FTL drive dragged some of the debris with the rocket or through a wormhole. (Smallville for example) But there's probably just as many versions that figure the rocket was only slightly ahead of the debris with no exotic physics invoked despite the distance."

EDIT: listening to the 1938 Superman Radio show's first episode at https://archive.org/details/superman_otr Krypton is actually on the opposite side of Earth's orbit. So obviously in that continuity kryptonite meteors would not be as impossible as something from another solar system or galaxy. Likewise a rocket traversing that small distance was appropriately science fictional for 1938's audience.

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  • For what it's worth, in one continuity, 2 Kryptonians named Bar-El and Lilio reached Earth after decades of drifting in space. However, they passed through the same radiation cloud that transformed Krypton's debris into Kryptonite, causing the mineral in their body to slowly turn into Kryptonite and killing them from the inside. In that continuity, I suppose it would mean the debris actually flew fast enough to be able to reach Earth.
    – Clockwork
    Jan 12, 2022 at 9:13
  • @Clockwork as I recall a radiation cloud made some color variants of kryptonite. Is that the same story? As I recall some version of Krypton exploded because the core had an atomic reaction. Jan 12, 2022 at 9:45
  • I'm not sure, I came across it accidentally the other day while reading about Superman Prime from the All-Star Superman universe.
    – Clockwork
    Jan 12, 2022 at 9:51
  • Ignoring the 1938 serial, it seems like that Kryptonite "coming along for the ride" in one form or another is about the best answer anyway.
    – Peter M
    Jan 13, 2022 at 14:30

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