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K-stars host habitable exoplanets



. 8 March (UPI) – Scientists have called K stars "Goldilocks stars." According to a new study, K-stars harbor more exoplanets than other types of stars.

When life is supposed to take place outside planet Earth, new research indicates that astronomers should search in K stars. K stars are orange stars that are slightly cooler than the sun.

There are billions of stars in the universe. Astronomers looking for signs of alien life can barely scratch the surface of the stellar population of the universe. The new research promises to narrow the search parameters of astronomers.

As described in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, K stars have several advantages. They live a long time and give the surrounding planet a lot of time for the development of life. More importantly, K stars have less electromagnetic turbulence.

The larger, more frequent solar flares produced by M stars can disperse the atmosphere of the inner planets and destroy the opportunity for the development of life.

"I like to think that K stars are in a sweet spot between Sun analog stars and M stars," said Giada Arney, a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a press release.

Scientists developed models to predict how biosignatures might look in the atmosphere of an exoplanet orbiting an orbiter K-Star Since oxygen and methane typically destroy each other, their simultaneous presence in the atmosphere suggests that a process ̵

1; possibly a biological – the two gases produced continuously.

Oxygen and methane are difficult to detect from thousands of light-years, but the models developed by Arney and her colleagues showed that oxygen-methane biosignatures were more representative of the atmosphere of exoplanets in K star systems.

"When you place the planet around a K-star, the oxygen does not destroy the methane so quickly that more of it can accumulate in the atmosphere," Arney said. "This is because the K-star's ultraviolet light does not produce highly reactive oxygen gases that destroy methane as easily as a sun-like star."

As K-stars are weaker, the exoplanets that surround them should be easier to spot. In their new article describing habitability in K-star planetary systems – published this week in the Astrophysical Journal – the authors identified several nearby K-stars that will be investigated in future astronomical investigations.

"I find that certain nearby K stars such as Cyg A / B 61, Epsilon Indi, Groombridge 1618 and HD 156026 may be particularly good targets for future biosignature searches," said Arney (function, d. S, id ) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s) [0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); js.id = id; js.src = & # 39; https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.2&appId=130795020312660&autoLogAppEvents=1';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); -jssdk & # 39;));
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