Explosively hot Red Dwarfs.

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Explosively hot Red Dwarfs.

Post by PlutonianEmpire on 1st October 2014, 1:21 am

Boom. Razz

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasas-swift-mission-observes-mega-flares-from-a-mini-star/

NASA's Swift Mission Observes Mega Flares from a Mini Star
September 30, 2014

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded.

"We used to think major flaring episodes from red dwarfs lasted no more than a day, but Swift detected at least seven powerful eruptions over a period of about two weeks," said Stephen Drake, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who gave a presentation on the "superflare" at the August meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s High Energy Astrophysics Division. "This was a very complex event."

At its peak, the flare reached temperatures of 360 million degrees Fahrenheit (200 million Celsius), more than 12 times hotter than the center of the sun.

I don't think this system hosts any known exoplanets, but it'd be interesting to ponder the implications for any helpless planets orbiting those stars and their habitability -- or lack thereof.

(I couldn't decide which was the best subforum, so feel free to move this thread if needed. Smile )

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Re: Explosively hot Red Dwarfs.

Post by ThinkerX on 1st October 2014, 1:41 am

Solar flares combined with tidal locking and a close in habitable zone are reasons I am a bit skeptical about earthlike worlds orbiting the majority of red dwarfs. Not saying impossible, just not real likely.


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Re: Explosively hot Red Dwarfs.

Post by Lazarus on 1st October 2014, 1:46 pm

Between this and the great flare on EV Lacertae, young, rapidly-rotating M-dwarfs do not seem to be pleasant environments at all. Hopefully it will eventually be possible to study the atmospheres of planets in M-dwarf habitable zones to determine what the implications for the long-term habitability of these worlds.
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