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alfa015
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

02 Mar 2018 18:31

Hi guys, I hope you are doing well

So.. the other day I read that Proxima Centauri released a huge flare last year, decreasing the chances of existing life in Proxima b
 
What do you think about it? I also read that the flare lasted 2 minutes.. what if the flare happened in the part of the star that was not facing Proxima b? Proxima Centauri rotates every 82 days.. I think that maybe the flare might have been released on the oposite side towards empty space (or other exoplanets)
 
I recently made a new video on the top 5 potentially habitable exoplanets closest to Earth in 2018 (here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd6smyz2tUk&list=PL3RiFKfZj3pv1ZqpFxuZinoGtUGEOank) in which I included Proxima b because it is still considered the one with the highest earth similarity index. Do you think that Proxima b should not be considered a potentially habitable exoplanet anymore? Should the target of the Starshot project be changed?
 
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Watsisname
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

02 Mar 2018 20:36

I think the present moment is not special, and similar or even greater flares surely happened throughout Proxima's history.  So if there was life on Proxima b it must be quite hardy and used to such events.  Or if life there would be extinguished by this event then it was never habitable in the first place.
 
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

03 Mar 2018 19:55

yeah and also probably the planet has little to no atmosphere because of proxima radiation 
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

03 Mar 2018 20:09

Proxima B is probably a mars like world, or it is a hot steamhouse planet like Venus. I doubt there is life there.
 
Destructor1701
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

04 Mar 2018 17:00

Yeah, if this is a normal flare (or even a once-in-a-lifetime event), then Proxima B is toast, and the likelihood of life getting a foothold there just got way lower.

I suppose abiogenesis could still take place in deep-ocean lava vents if the conditions (oceans+volcanism) exist - the ocean would shelter the biome - but this flare has been described as "atmosphere-stripping", so the probability of the planet retaining a liquid ocean without it boiling off a few millennia after deposition declines now too.
 
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Salvo
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

04 Mar 2018 23:58

I know that life around M-type stars (mostly flare stars) is considered very unlikely.  It orbits 20 times closer than earth relative to the sun, so any of these events you "fry" all the life present in there.
I was always been quite skeptic about life around Proxima Centauri.  I think the only type of stars that allows life to develop are K, G and F stars (with K being the most and F being the least), I also consider unlikely some forms of life in deep ocean for M stars, it is way harder to get things going in the right way "exactly in one of these points" rather than in all the area that the Earth had to develop life.  If it could potentially happen it surely requires much more time than it took on Earth to reach a proper stage of life, like those of multicellular, eventually more than the 4,85 Gyr of age it already has.
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

05 Mar 2018 02:39

When it comes to K type stars, they aren't known for massive flares (at least to my knowledge, I could be wrong). They still live alot longer than our sun, and planets don't have to orbit as close to them to be warm. So I think that K type stars are probably better for planets overall than M stars, less likely to be tidal locked.
 
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midtskogen
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

05 Mar 2018 02:50

I think the current astrophysical meaning of "habitable zone" makes it a term that shouldn't be used in communication.  A lot of stars probably don't have one in the sense people will perceive the term.  I'm fine with the term as a term used in astrophysics, which already has terms with different meanings than ordinary language (like "metal").  But I think we could avoid much confusion if it could be named something more neutral like "temperate zone".

Considering that we can't rule out that life can exist on energy from geological processes, radioactive decay or tidal heating, it's not even strictly necessary for a planet to be in this habitable zone to support life, anyway.
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alfa015
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

09 Mar 2018 08:53

good points, indeed active flare stars are a problem, but i think that if proxima b had a magnetic field stronger than earth, those flares wouldn't be much of a problem
 
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midtskogen
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What do you think about the super flare of the star Proxima Centauri?

10 Apr 2018 12:48

Paper on Proxima Centauri superflare (summary: Proxima b surface = toast)
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