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Exoplant and red dwarf stellar flares, illustration

Exoplant and red dwarf stellar flares, illustration

C042/6210

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Credit

NASA, ESA, AND G. BACON (STSCI) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA, ESA, AND G. BACON (STSCI) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Exoplant and red dwarf stellar flares, illustration. Red dwarf star orbited by a planet (lower right). Red dwarfs tend to be magnetically active, displaying gigantic arcing prominences and a wealth of dark sunspots. Red dwarfs also erupt with intense flares that could strip a nearby planet's atmosphere over time. By mining data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft, a team of astronomers identified dozens of flares at a range of durations and strengths. Even smaller flares are thought to be much more frequent, producing a cumulative effect on an orbiting planet. Image published in 2017.

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