Living under a red dwarf

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Living under a red dwarf

Post by Yuri.Murenko on 22nd January 2010, 1:21 pm

Our sun plays an important role in our body's vitamin D prodction, I was wondering if living under a spectral type M star (red dwarf) would have any potential effect us humans and the production of vitamin D.

Also what about earth plants? I know that the sun has a large role in the production of glucose in plants. Does a star's spectral type affect earth life at all?
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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Edasich on 22nd January 2010, 3:50 pm

In my science fiction tale, I speculate Mankind avoiding to settle M-dwarf worlds, unless for scientific expedition (as currently we do in Antarctica). Living there, man's metabolism could not produce vitamin D and thus be affected of rickets.

Unless people has a vitamin D-rich diet. Perhaps.

About plants, I don't know what species could live there. Maybe algae requiring only IR radiation. Because most of the plants needs both UV both IR rays to perform photosynthesis.
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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 22nd January 2010, 6:27 pm

It's been said that since M dwarfs radiate most of their energy in the infrared, plant life may adapt by being a much darker colour. I don't have a clue about vitamin-D production though.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Yuri.Murenko on 22nd January 2010, 7:10 pm

Sirius_Alpha wrote:It's been said that since M dwarfs radiate most of their energy in the infrared, plant life may adapt by being a much darker colour. I don't have a clue about vitamin-D production though.

that is actually very cool, having a planet were they sky is purple, and the plants are a dark green color. i might use this in a science-fiction story that i'm writing.

but what about other spectral type stars? what about ol' Sirius A and oher white dwarfs?
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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 22nd January 2010, 7:27 pm

The UV output of A+ stars would be destructive to DNA. Furthermore, A, B and O stars don't live long, astronomically speaking, so it may be difficult to get a planet with a stable environment for enough time to allow life to form there.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by The Kiat on 26th April 2010, 6:53 pm









A few pictures of the Terminator Forest on Hypnale. Is this a convincing color for a red dwarf sun?

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 26th April 2010, 7:41 pm

That looks pretty neat. Kind of eerie.
I notice the plants are pretty dark, which would be expected since darker colours would absorb better the wavelengths that the red dwarf primarily emits.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Borislav on 5th August 2010, 4:03 am

http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.0853

We present the results of a search for white light flares on the ~23,000 cool dwarfs in the Kepler Quarter 1 long cadence data. We have identified 373 flaring stars, some of which flare multiple times during the observation period. We calculate relative flare energies, flare rates and durations, and compare these with the quiescent photometric variability of our sample. We find that M dwarfs tend to flare more frequently but for shorter durations than K dwarfs, and that they emit more energy relative to their quiescent luminosity in a given flare than K dwarfs. Stars that are more photometrically variable in quiescence tend to emit relatively more energy during flares, but variability is only weakly correlated with flare frequency. We estimate distances for our sample of flare stars and find that the flaring fraction agrees well with other observations of flare statistics for stars within 300 pc above the Galactic Plane. These observations provide a more rounded view of stellar flares by sampling stars that have not been pre-selected by their activity, and are informative for understanding the influence of these flares on planetary habitability.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by Borislav on 5th August 2010, 5:27 am

In general, for a month, only 5 percent of red dwarfs have shown flashes. Not so much.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by marasama on 5th August 2010, 10:36 am

Nice color shading.

Though, M-Dwarf plants may be best in dark colors. Never know, could be like earth.
Where the best color is blue, yet our plant is green.
Possibly to evolve and take other colors when competing with other organisms.

So, plants may be orange and grow slower.
Possibility still endless.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by ciceron on 5th August 2010, 1:54 pm

Who knows? maybe life in a planet locked to a star NEEDS a flare now and then. Is an alternative to the day/night cycle we have in Sol III

Even an habitable moon orbiting a giant planet or brown dwaf around a M star , would benefice for a regulated influx of energetic particles after the long nigth of quiescence.

Imagine a moon orbiting inside the brown dwarf equivalent of our Van Allen rings. A flare would enrich the energy flux around the rings , diluting in time the burst and converting in a gentle rain of charged particles, ideal for a flourising coral-like creatures covering the highest peaks of the moon. This corals drop dead during the winter , and their esqueletons feed the middle heights where bone-gnawlers harvest the ion-flux products , processed and packaged, along with the seeds of the corals , that in larval state grow in the high-density droppings of the carrion eaters. In this stage , the saplings are motile and harvest some chemicals of the lowlands. In their last stage of motility , they climb back to the land of their ancestors , and await the next flare , raising their anteane to the sky , waiting for the electron-mana....

Just the first idea that crosses my head to adapt life to that enviroment. Reality uses to be even stranger than that.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

Post by marasama on 5th August 2010, 5:47 pm

Or like forest fires.

Where the forest gets so overgrown that flare is needed to kill off most plants and re-enrich the soil.

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Re: Living under a red dwarf

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