The discovery of terrestrial exoplanets is considered one of the most impressive advancements the scientific field has made until now. These planets rotate around stars located outside the Solar System.
Numerous exoplanets are located in the ‘habitable zones’ of stars, where planets are believed to host liquid water on their surface and could also capable of holding life. Even so, an exoplanet that is located at a close distance to its host star is incredibly sensitive to radiation beams from the star, called flares.
In a new paper, NYUAD Center for Space Science Research Scientist Dimitra Atri discovered the fact that not all exoplanets based in habitable zones are a potential place for life. Exoplanets close to the stars are submitted to radiation bursts, which can alter habitable settings if the exoplanet doesn’t have any atmospheric or magnetic shielding.
The study, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, explains the way flares from stars impact a planet’s surface radiation measure, and if that can affect the planet’s capacity to host life. Atri also analyzed the function of a planet’s magnetic field power, and its atmosphere is offering to shield from these bursts.
Flares are Rather Significant
The elements taken into consideration include flare power and spectrum, as well as the planetary atmospheric thickness and magnetic field power. To measure the surface radiation dose, particle spectra coming from 70 significant emitting occurrences were utilized as a substitute, and the GEANT4 Monte Carlo model was employed to mimic flare communication with exoplanetary atmospheres.
The research has demonstrated that flares can suddenly enhance the radiation amount on planetary surfaces and have the ability to agitate potentially habitable environments on planets. It was also discovered the fact that atmospheric depth, also known as column density, and planetary magnetic field, play a significant part in protecting planets from flares and keeping a firm planetary atmosphere.
“As we continue to explore the planets of the solar system and beyond, discovering if these planets have the ability to support life continues to be of immense importance. More progress in this area will improve our understanding of the relationship between extreme solar events, radiation dose, and planetary habitability,” Atri said.