science

Solar flares: Study finds activity ’might not preclude existence of life’


The researchers acknowledge stronger solar flares are commonly associated with damaging the prospects of alien life on unprotected exoplanets.

They write: “Stellar activity — which includes stellar flares, coronal mass ejections and stellar proton events — has a profound influence on a planet’s habitability, primarily via its effect on atmospheric ozone.”

Although an occasional solar flare may not spell extinction for certain, red dwarfs can exhibit prolonged flaring.

Howard Chen, a Northwestern University PhD student and lead author, said in a statement: “We compared the atmospheric chemistry of planets experiencing frequent flares with planets experiencing no flares.





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