X-ray Danger for Exoplanets
Read the news release: https://chandra.cfa.harvard.edu/press/23_releases/press_042023.html
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
· Animation of a supernova: ESA/Hubble/L. Calcada
· Illustration of Earth-like planet: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss
· Illustration of irradiated planet near supernova: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss
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A grid of photographs of celestial bodies moves up. A white line moves down and another across. Text, News from the universe. The text is above an image of Jupiter.
Text, May 4, 2023, X-Ray Danger for Exoplanets. Animation, a star flashes out.
Text, A new study shows that a supernova can pose a threat to planets up to 160 light-years away.
An amorphous multicolored spherical shape turns.
Text, If the blast wave from a supernova impacts dense gas, it can produce dangerous amounts of X-rays.
A star shines inside the sphere as the sphere fades.
Text, While our planet is not in danger from this kind of threat, other Earth-like planets could be at risk.
Illustration. An Earth-like planet with a bright star that shines in the distance.
Text, X-ray radiation could wipe out a significant portion of the protective ozone layer of an Earth-like planet's atmosphere. The star blasts out and the planet turns from blues and greens to browns and tans.
Text, With no ozone shielding planetary life from its sun's ultraviolet radiation, a mass extinction event could take place.
Events like these would shrink areas of the Milky Way's Galactic Habitable Zone, where conditions are favorable for life as we know it.
A blue haze emanates from the blast around the star against a dark background in a field of stars.
Text, This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X-Ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.