Monday, May 18, 2009

Looking for Life in all the WRONG places....

Shaun sends in an article from NewScientist that suggests that we may be looking in all the WRONG places for life outside out own planet.

According to the article:
  • The universe's best real estate for life may be around stars a little less massive than the sun, called orange dwarfs - These stars live much longer than sun-like stars, and have safer habitable zone. Orange dwarfs, massing between 50 and 80% that of the sun, have only a little bit more flare activity than sun-like stars and far less than longer lived red dwarf stars. Lower flare activity means less radiation stress on any life bearing planets plus they would also provide a haven for life for a much longer time – roughly double the 10-billion-year lifetime of a sun-like star.
  • Moreover, they change very little in brightness compared to sun-like stars. Our own sun has brightened by about 30% since the solar system began, and will likely make Earth too hot for life in about 1 billion years, even though the sun will still have about 5 billion years of fuel left to burn.
  • Another factor in Orange dwarfs favor for possible life supporting star systems, is that they are about three to four times as abundant as sun-like stars...

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