Mini-Flares Potentially Jeopardize Habitability of Planets Circling Red Dwarf Stars

Stsci_2017-23_1024

stsci_2017-23 June 6th, 2017

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Solar flares and associated eruptions can trigger auroras on Earth or, more ominously, damage satellites and power grids. Could flares on cool, red dwarf stars cause even more havoc to orbiting planets, even rendering them uninhabitable? To help answer that question, astronomers sought to find out how many flares such stars typically unleash.

A new study of archival ultraviolet observations from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft detected dozens of flares from red dwarf stars. Some flares were weaker than any previously detected. Since smaller flares tend to occur more frequently, these tiny flares might have big implications for planetary habitability.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | STScI

Image Source: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2017-23

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Object Name
Flaring Red Dwarf
Subject - General
Star > Feature > Chromosphere > Flare
Stsci_2017-23_1280
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ID
2017-23
Subject Category
E.3.5.2.1  
Subject Name
Flaring Red Dwarf
Credits
NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Release Date
2017-06-06
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2017-23
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STScI-H-p1723a-f4400x3400.tif
Metadata Date
2018-04-12
Metadata Version
1.2
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