Stars’ flares can kill potential life on exoplanets

NASA has identified over 4,100 exoplanets — planets that orbit stars outside the Solar System — but space researchers at New York University in Abu Dhabi now say that not all exoplanets in habitable zones will be able to maintain hospitable conditions for life.

Exoplanets in close proximity to stars are subject to radiation bursts which can disrupt habitable conditions unless the exoplanet has significant atmospheric or magnetic shielding.

In the study, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, research scientist Dimitra Atri explores how flares from stars affect a planet”s surface radiation dose, and if that can disrupt the planet”s ability to host life.

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