Scientists have found several planets that claim if not for the title of “twin Earth”.
The Hubble space telescope recorded a powerful flash at one of the nearest red dwarfs in the constellation of the Hourglass, whose power was in the tens or hundreds of times higher than typical bursts of activity on the Sun. This threatens the existence of life in these stars, the scientists write in a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal.
“We have seen the Sun for several hundred years, and during that time we saw only one or, at a stretch, two events that almost reach the level of superspace. But observing just one day for these young red dwarfs with the Hubble, we were able to catch the full disaster of this kind,” says Loyd Park (Parke Loyd) from the University of Arizona in Tucson (USA).
Over the past three years scientists have found several planets that claim if not for the title of “twin Earth”, her “sisters” or “cousins”. The first planet was found in nearest star, Proxima Centauri, and the other three are in the star system of TRAPPIST-1 in the constellation of Aquarius, which inhabits seven earth-like planets.
All these planets have in common is that they have small size, are in the “zone of life” – in orbit where water can exist in liquid form, and revolve around red dwarfs. The last point is both a plus and a minus – red dwarfs live very long, which leaves plenty of time for the origin of life, but some of them have a very restless nature in his youth, and develop a series of flashes.
Many planetary scientists have long suspected that such displays of activity of stars can negatively affect the probability of the origin and existence of life on such planets. For example, frequent coronal emission can deprive a planet of its magnetic shield that opens it to the “bombing” of the cosmic rays, and powerful x-ray flare gradually destroys its atmosphere and deprive it of oxygen.
Loyd and his colleagues found that these bursts occur almost continuously on the surface of young red dwarf stars, watching the whole “brood” of stars located in the immediate vicinity of the Land at the junction of the constellations of Tucana and Hourglass.
Using the tools of Hubble and several ground-based telescopes, scientists followed the changes in the level of ultraviolet illumination of the stars, and tried to understand whether there is a relationship between their age and frequency of outbreaks.
As it turned out, such a relationship really exists – red dwarfs, whose age does not exceed about 40 million years, breed a powerful flare is about 20-100 times more often than “adult” luminaries of this type. Weaker disasters occur on the surface of these stars more often and in some cases they have been there almost continuously.
During observations of one such star, J02365, scientists managed to capture an extremely powerful flare, surpassing in strength the famous Carrington event of 1859, the most powerful flash in the Sun, about 4-5 times.
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