Skip to comments.Proxima Centauri's No Good, Very Bad Day
Posted on 02/27/2018 2:25:58 AM PST by zeestephen
Astronomers have detected a massive stellar flare -- an energetic explosion of radiation -- from the closest star to our own Sun, Proxima Centauri, which occurred last March. This finding raises questions about the habitability of our Solar System's nearest exoplanetary neighbor, Proxima b [an Earth-like planet], which orbits Proxima Centauri.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
When they say this happened "last March," I assume that means the Earth observation happened last March.
The huge size of this solar flare has added a huge new problem to the conditions that must exist to support life.
If these huge flares are common throughout our galaxy, they would evaporate the atmosphere and liquid water of any nearby planets, and sterilize the planet surface with lethal radiation.
If these huge flares are common throughout our galaxy, they would evaporate the atmosphere and liquid water of any nearby planets, and sterilize the planet surface with lethal radiation. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well, did it do so on Proxima Centuri or are the Centaurians simply harnessing the energy of the flares?
Did Proxima Centuri have an atmosphere?
This happened aboy 5 years ago in light speed adjusted time, so when do we send water via cometary rendezvous?
The more I read about the function of the Moon & tidal forces of the Earth-Moon system the more I realize the criticality of the moon's existence to the formation of life on Earth. So looking for rocky planets with a stars presumed "habitable zone" is only the first step, and one that doesn't get you very far toward finding life.
See Ciixin Liu’s excellent description (including flares) for what life would be like living in the system in his novel “The Three Body Problem”.
Laugh all you want.
When Sol and Earth are long gone in 5 billion years,
Proxima Centauri will still have 1 trillion years left.
I didn’t say a stable star’s habitable zone is the only requirement for life. A large moon could also be necessary, or maybe not. There could be a thousand requirements, or just a few. Life could evolve under completely different conditions than our own, or maybe not. A single example is not enough to form a statistical basis for determining the probability of life in the universe apart from ourselves.
Vin Diesel or however you spell it, he could have survived.
“. . . the more I realize the criticality of the moon’s existence to the formation of life on Earth.”
And if that’s the case (and I tend to agree, not that I’m any expert) that tends to argue for the scarcity of life as we know it elsewhere in the universe. That’s especially so because of the size of our moon relative to the size of Earth (a complete aberration compared to what we see in the rest of the solar system); and because of the circumstances of it’s formation. As I understand it, the best theory is that the moon was formed as a piece of the proto-Earth knocked off by a collision with a massive object of just the right size that had to hit with just the right velocity and just the right glancing angle to give us the system we have now.
If all that’s the case, the chances of that happening elsewhere aren’t all that high. I’ve always thought that the argument “since there are 10^n stars in the universe, that number is so large life *has* to exist somewhere else” is flawed by the realization that if the odds of getting things right for the initiation of living systems are 10^-n, we’re it. And if the moon and it’s formation in the fashion described above are crucial, achieving a potentially viable system may well be a real long shot.
Coupled with the theory that only second generation planets have the kind of atmosphere required for life as we know it, that would make life rare indeed.
The Moon causes 2/3 of the tides, the Sun causes 1/3, IOW, even without the Moon, we'd have tides. And take your copies of "Rare Earth" and throw them into the recycle bin.
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Should we dispatch some fire engines?
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