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Habitability Around Aging Red Dwarfs

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Text, News From The Universe. November 5, 2020.
 
Habitability Around Aging Red Dwarfs. November 5, 2020. Illustration credit NASA, ESA slash G, Bacon S T S cl.
 
Image of a red dwarf star and orbiting planet.
 
Text, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Telescope have new data on Barnard's Star, a nearby aging red dwarf with one planet.
 
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Red Dwarfs are known for strong flares that can strip the atmosphere from orbiting planets.
 
Astronomers looked to see if Barnard's Star had grown calm enough with age to allow a planetary atmosphere to regenerate. The answer was no.

Chandra and Hubble detected occasional but strong flares of X-ray and ultraviolet radiation.
 
Image of sun flares which blow atmosphere off of a planet.
 
Text, The planet closely orbiting Barnard's Star would likely be unable to retain an atmosphere while buffeted by the harsh flares.
 
It is possible planets could maintain an atmosphere at a farther distance from red dwarf stars, beyond the traditional "habitable" orbital zone.
 
This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X-ray Center, Cambridge, MA.