Ultraviolet radiation present on the surface of alien planets should not be a limitation for the development of life, concludes a study on the four closest potentially habitable planets to Earth.
Not long ago, we discovered that the Proxima Centauri Star System is orbited by a very peculiar and interesting planet.
Dubbed Proxima-b, the alien world was the subject of numerous studies, some of which concluded it may host the perfect incidents for life to develop on its surface.
The more we studied the not-so-distant exoplanet, the more we understood about its potential. That was until hopes for life were dashed by the high levels of radiation bombarding those worlds.
According to astronomers, Proxima-b, located a ‘mere’ 4.24 light years away is bombarded with 250 times more X-ray radiation than Earth, which means that its surface is most likely covered in hazardous, ultraviolet radiation.
So, how could life survive this extreme bombardment?
According to Cornell astronomers, it’s not that big of a deal, and life has already survived this sort of dangerous radiation, and the ultimate evidence is the human race.
“Lessons From Early Earth: UV Surface Radiation Should Not Limit the Habitability of Active M Star Systems,” published by Lisa Kaltenegger and Jack O’Malley-James in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, “all life on Earth today evolved from creatures that thrived during an even greater UV radiation assault than Proxima-b and other nearby exoplanets currently endure.”
Evidence of that is our ancient Earth. Some four billion years ago, the planet was a chaotic, irradiated and hot mess, as Cornell scientists put it.
Despite this, life survived, complex lifeforms evolved on Earth.
And this is exactly what could be happening on this very moment on some of the nearest exoplanets to Earth, reveals Kaltenegger and O’Malley-James.