There may be habitable planets around red dwarfs

There may be habitable planets around red dwarfs

Red dwarfs can support the existence of habitable exoplanets. First of all, this is possible because of the tidal interaction between the star and the planets, protecting the intended life forms from the ferocious nature of red dwarfs.

In recent years, the hypothesis that it is red dwarfs that are most suitable for the existence of inhabited planets has been subjected to enormous reasonable doubts. Of course, in our galaxy there are a large number of such stars, but the environment they create around themselves was not considered to be a very suitable place for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Red dwarfs are stars that are much smaller than our Sun. Because of this, they shine more dimly, and their temperature is much lower. Therefore, the distance to the star of a hypothetical planet, similar to the Earth, should be much smaller than the actual distance from the Earth to the Sun. The habitable zone - an area that is not too hot and not too cold for the existence of water in a liquid state, which is the main condition for the existence of life - is very small for red dwarfs, which creates a lot of problems.

Despite its small size, many of the observed red dwarfs are known as “flare stars”. Aggressive red dwarfs emit powerful flares, throwing out powerful streams of radiation in the direction of nearby planets. These fierce star storms, including star winds, must completely sterilize the surfaces of the planets so that they become completely unsuitable (according to biologists) for any form of life. In addition to the terrible radiation environment of the planet, located near the red dwarfs, exposed to powerful tidal effects, because of which one hemisphere of the planet is always turned to the star, and the second just as constantly in the shade. But a new study by scientists at Washington University, published in the journal Astrobiology, states that a planet orbiting a red dwarf can receive powerful gravitational and thermal effects that can act as a kind of immunity against radiation exposure. This mechanism allows us to say again that on planets revolving around red dwarfs, life may exist.

It is believed that because of its one-sided position of the planet, always turned towards the luminary by one side, they are deprived of electromagnetic fields, like the earth. But perhaps not in the case of red dwarf satellites.

Revolving around a red dwarf, the planet puts one hemisphere into its light. Proximity to the star heats the mantle of the planet, which leads to powerful dynamic processes on the surface of the planet, similar to those that occur on the surfaces of satellites of Jupiter. It is known that the local volcanic activity is the most powerful in the solar system. Similar phenomena, only of lesser intensity, occur on planets close to red dwarfs.

The Earth’s magnetosphere protects our biosphere from solar flares and intense solar wind flows. On planets revolving around red dwarfs, similar magnetic fields may arise due to the heating of the planet’s mantle. They can protect the surface of these planets from the destructive radiation fluxes, theoretically creating natural conditions that make life possible for life. Thus, the existence of life on planets that are theoretically possible for the existence of a life belt in the vicinity of red dwarfs cannot be ruled out. Perhaps the small rocky worlds around the red dwarfs are our best bet in search of extraterrestrial life.

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