PROXIMA B “THE SECOND EARTH” BOMBARDED WITH A POWERFUL RADIATION
When this planet was discovered it had been an astrobiological celebration as scientists thought that this planet could well contain life as the atmosphere quite matched earth. But as it turns out, the planet has been flamed by flares of deadly radiation destroying any life that may have been on this planet. The planet was found 4.24 light years away and in an astronomical point of view, 4.24 light years away seems very much a neighbor to our planet.
According to new study reports, this had occurred last year in 2017. Study lead Meredith MacGregor, of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC said that “it’s likely that Proxima b was blasted by high-energy radiation during this flare.” She added, “Over the billion years since Proxima b formed, flares like this one could have evaporated any atmosphere or ocean and sterilized the surface, suggesting that habitability may involve more than just being the right distance from the host star to have liquid water.”
Proxima b orbits its host star Proxima Centauri in its most habitable zone which is the range of liquid water supporting distances. Proxima b is 20 times closer to its star than the earth is to the sun. Here’s a quick note – Red dwarf stars compared to larger stars example as our sun, burn at lower temperatures due to their size reaching only 6, 380 F while our sun in comparison has an effective temperature of 9,900 F. Because of their low temperatures, red dwarf stars burn through their supply of hydrogen less rapidly. They are the faintest, coolest and the most common stars found in the universe.
Such proximity to the star raises questions to the habitability of Proxima b. Will there be life on this planet after this event? We can never know unless we find out, however, we may not know anytime soon due to this powerful superflare.
The star Proxima Centauri drowned Proxima b with 4,000 times more radiation than what Earth receives from the Sun’s flares which all happened within in a period of 10 seconds. Destroying, (if there was any life), in less than 10 seconds.