The Search for ET: Evolution of Stars has an X-Factor

The Search for ET Evolution of Stars has an X Factor

Stephen Kane looking for stars that could host planets with a warm, temperate climate that would be hostile to your life - you know, like Earth - when he saw a young red dwarf called AU Microscopii who “ just ”32 light years away from home.

“The star is a complete child, when it comes to planetary systems. That means we have a chance here to see a planet at the earliest stages of the planet 's growth, "he said. So Kane, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Riverside, and his colleagues used the star as laboratory and as a model for others like him, planning his future life, which helped them to discover when the planets orbiting him may be inside The star's "residence zone" - a distance that is not too hot or too cold to sustain life They first discovered that the star would light up brightly, then settle down and burn less , so that the range of life - friendly spots moves closer to the star around 30 to 40 percent in the star's first 200 million years. this went in the The Astronomical Journal.

That's important for Kane and other scientists, who one day hope to see a world - friendly world outside of Earth, with virtual ecosystems full of alien life forms, because suggest that a planet may never live in a place of residence. For the best “Goldilocks” situation, everything has to be right, including a temperature that allows the planet to melt surface water - a prerequisite for life as we know it . (Life like us do not know it's another story.) Other factors are important, too, such as breathable feel, a stable climate, and adequate protection from harsh ultraviolet radiation. Mars, for example, is in our solar eclipse, but lost its water and most of its atmosphere a few years ago. Venus lies on the inner edge of the zone, but thanks to its carbon dioxide coating, it's hot.

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AU Microscopii will give scientists an insight into how that field could grow or decline over the life of a star. “Those red dwarf stars are a long, polite teenager. It could be hundreds of millions of years before a star like this finally settles in adulthood, "said Sara Seager, an MIT astronomer and former deputy director of science on NASA's planet detection mission called TESS.

Kane and his team show that with their red dwarf and other such stars being teenagers for a while, a world that is not currently inhospitable may be more conducive to life down the road. But the reverse could also happen: "A planet that is now inhabited space may not yet exist when the star changes," he said.

If the host star cools down a bit, the planet could be too cold for any ET to make a living on; lakes and rivers gradually froze. On the other hand, much older stars usually heat up eventually, so the monsters that were once in a life - friendly place could finally see the water that was essential for life to boil away, as anything on the surface of their planet gets baked to death.

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