Red Dwarf Exoplanets Are A No Go For Life

Mar 17, 2020
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I wonder why we spend so much time examining planets off red dwarf stars. Of course they are close to us and we always seem to find new ones in habitable zones. As I see it, a civilization or any kind of technologically advance life form would find it a hard go to develop in such an environment other than visiting star laden explorers.

There would be all kinds of hazards from day one of evolution: very short days, very short years, enormous cataclysmic solar flares, maybe even tidally locked worlds. If life developed, they probably did not advance to anything close to a space faring race.

We know that all of the advanced space residing and super earth residing telescopes seem to find exoplanets orbiting off red dwarf suns many times that of earth type suns; maybe focus off the normal sun that earth residents are familiar with. I hope that Kepler, JWST, Hubble and the Chilean telescopes find some habitable zones of exoplanets that are closer to the earth's system.

It's definitely harder to identify and there probably less of earth-type suns and are further away, but they have the best chance of life as we know it. So scientists and astronomers: keep looking.
 
Wolf 1069 b is a recent example of an exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star that is said to be a potential for life living on it and possibly, earth-like.

Astronomers discover potential habitable exoplanet only 31 light-years from Earth, https://forums.space.com/threads/as...oplanet-only-31-light-years-from-earth.59871/

Astronomers find rare Earth-mass rocky planet suitable for the search for signs of life, https://phys.org/news/2023-02-astronomers-rare-earth-mass-rocky-planet.html

ref - The CARMENES search for exoplanets around M dwarfs. Wolf 1069 b: Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a nearby, very low-mass star, https://www.aanda.org/component/article?access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361/202245322, 21-Dec-2022.

Is this new exoplanet report the home of E.T. phoning home now? Perhaps not :)
 
Since we have no idea what life needs to exist, as we are the only example we know, leave no stone unturned.
This does seem to be the approach to astrobiology and life is out there somewhere, other than here on Earth teaching said to be science. In my view, the heliocentric solar system teachers had to provide necessary demonstration from nature to show that the Earth really moved around the Sun otherwise the geocentric solar system paradigm would not be falsified in science. So far, necessary demonstration from nature has yet to be provided and shown true, other than biological life is here on Earth. That much is as certain as my telescope observations of the Galilean moons moving around Jupiter that Galileo observed in the early 1600s. He observed them more than 400 years ago, I can still them today too.
 
About 2.8% of the known M-type stars, with at least one exoplanet, are found to have exoplanets in their HZ. But we have found more HZ exoplanets around G-type stars than any other type because we have found about 3.5x as many G-type stars with exoplanets compared to the M-type stars with exoplanets. [About 1.2% of G-type stars with exoplanets have one or more in their HZ.]

[See the Exoplanet Stats thread for the current exoplanet details.]

Red dwarfs all seem to be fisty. The evidence favors that they flare far more often than other stars, which likely has a lot to do with the fact that their interiors are fully convective; constantly "boiling".

Although preliminary, there is some hope that these flares aren't along their equators, hence there is some hope that their exoplanets may be dodging these bullets. But, the study that showed some evidence for this admitted this was only a study of four stars. So, it seems more likely that this was more coincidental, and that more evidence will show otherwise.

Forthcoming atmospheric data will greatly help reveal if their red dwarfs will have planets more resilient to their host star's temper tantrums.

Regardless, if life did begin on Earth around ocean vents, as some suggest, then liquid water worlds around any star may have a chance for some forms of life, IMO.
 
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"Regardless, if life did begin on Earth around ocean vents, as some suggest, then liquid water worlds around any star may have a chance for some forms of life, IMO."

Post #5 quote above. Water worlds seem to have more trouble now according to science modeling.

Astronomers still scratching their heads over population of ocean-world exoplanets, https://phys.org/news/2023-02-astronomers-population-ocean-world-exoplanets.html

ref - Conclusive evidence for a population of water-worlds around M-dwarfs remains elusive, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2023arXiv230104321R/abstract, January 2023.

So far, no exoplanet is confirmed as earth-like with life existing on it or even earth-like. So far, the same is true for Mars. Necessary demonstration from nature is required to support this belief system. Endless repetition of a probability creation story is what I see - IMO.
 
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"Regardless, if life did begin on Earth around ocean vents, as some suggest, then liquid water worlds around any star may have a chance for some forms of life, IMO."

Post #5 quote above. Water worlds seem to have more trouble now according to science modeling.

Astronomers still scratching their heads over population of ocean-world exoplanets, https://phys.org/news/2023-02-astronomers-population-ocean-world-exoplanets.html

It's unclear at this point what we will find, as they state...
"Ultimately, the researchers concluded that while the existence of water-world populations "remains elusive," they did offer possible avenues for garnering more conclusive results pertaining to water-world populations. These include searching for the presence of hydrogen and helium around low-mass exoplanets and measuring an exoplanet's age to better determine their long-term evolution."

ref - Conclusive evidence for a population of water-worlds around M-dwarfs remains elusive, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2023arXiv230104321R/abstract, January 2023.
This is a little like the line I enjoy from Destiny 1 where the hero is told that "I'm absolutely sure this could possibly work." :) It's clear that this is "elusive".

But I suspect that life may need to have begun underwater to give much hope for water worlds, especially around red dwarfs.

There was a problem for me in reading the pdf in the 2nd leak but their conclusion seems to be.... inconclusive. ;)
 
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"There was a problem for me in reading the pdf in the 2nd leak but their conclusion seems to be.... inconclusive.", Helio in post #7. Yes water worlds seem to have some problems modeling and showing that they are real in nature. https://phys.org/news/2023-02-astronomers-population-ocean-world-exoplanets.html, this report indicates there are some skeptics here. “In a recent study submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team of researchers led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examine the potential for water-worlds around M-dwarf stars. Water-worlds, also known as ocean worlds, are planets that possess bodies of liquid water either directly on its surface, such as Earth, or somewhere beneath it, such as Jupiter's moon, Europa and Saturn's moon, Enceladus. For the study, the researchers focused on super-Earths and sub-Neptunes with hydrogen (H)/helium (He) atmospheres for close-in exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf stars in an attempt to calculate their total water mass. So, what were the most significant results pertaining to water-worlds around M-dwarf stars? "Those planets containing a significant fraction of their total mass (10%–50%) in water might be extremely rare or nonexistent," Dr. James Owen, who is a Senior Lecturer in Exoplanet Physics at Imperial College London and a co-author on the study, recently told Universe Today."

We do have reports of water world candidates.

Astronomers discover strange twin planets might be water worlds, https://forums.space.com/threads/as...nge-twin-planets-might-be-water-worlds.59212/

An extrasolar world covered in water? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220824103051.htm

Verification of such water worlds - remains elusive :)
 
What is interesting, given my age, is how water skeptics, over time, have been surprised more and more about increases in water abundance for our solar system. It was clear that the Moon had none. H2O is abundant in accretion disks since oxygen is a common element in these, primarily, hydrogen disks.

Perhaps many water worlds will be found even for red dwarfs. But even if this becomes true, then how many will have protruding land masses, which may be necessary after all for abiogenesis?
 
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Simple logic proves each waterworld has at least one bit of dry land. Where there is water there are fish and thus fishermen. Wherever there are fishermen there is someone who owns a 28 foot Parker Sport Cabin with twin 350 Evinrudes, drank too many Iron City tall boys and ran it up on the beach at full throttle coming in after dark.
 
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Simple logic proves each waterworld has at least one bit of dry land. Where there is water there are fish and thus fishermen. Wherever there are fishermen there is someone who owns a 28 foot Parker Sport Cabin with twin 350 Evinrudes, drank too many Iron City tall boys and ran it up on the beach at full throttle coming in after dark.
Sounds like a personal problem. ;) I failed to leave my kids at the dock whenever I ran aground. That cost me.
 
Calmer big stars have lot of objects. But the biggest busiest ones will have too many WMDs. There are better ones but I like Brown Dwarfs for safety of radiation. Something Earth sized would be earthquake prone and make toxic chemistry at the core. A magnetic core looks hard. This millenium I'd want to make something Pluto-sized that is half rock half ice moon. Maybe the ice as core maybe granite. I'd like to place the granite pickup sticks without unwanted chemical reactions. Magnetic turf would be needed for healthy activity. I like the idea of feeling air and water pressure. Cosmic rays would be domed covers or artificial dust in the air. I envision canyons out gassing water vapour with an earth atmosphere artificially pumped in. I hope for real weather over the opened ponds. I'd use metamaterial satellites to lens the infrared radiation on pyramid ice projections from the ice moon mantle. The ice might last 1000 yrs before outgassing. It is reasonably easy to sensor the world and it is vulnerable to weapons so maybe 15-20 LYs from Earth. Better materials science is needed for Earth gravity ice-rock hybrids. Ten million might live on each ice-rock Pluto in 2700AD. A key is to process the materials first before using them as legos and then giant tetris pieces.
 
Enough stellar physics and we may find subsets of star types w/ stably benign output. Small stars which convect completely will bring up trouble quickly. Much bigger stars than Sol have separated physics processes occurring as energy gets closer to exiting the star. Quick Brown Dwarf colonies will help to get through a pollution and proliferation societal tech level: metals irradiated. Cosmic rays turn metal radioactive past our heliopause. My metal inclusions in BeO or AL2O3 armour heat up in a couple yrs of electric engine travel or less than a decade stationary. That armour should only be the middle layer. The outer layer is metal such as silver. The inner layer is the oxide. A cosmic ray impacts the outer layer and sets off a particle cascade headed inwards. The lower energy cascade is absorbed by the middle layer. The inner layer is mostly undamaged. The outer layer will poison the whole ship in years; the middle layer adjacent rooms. The have to be switched out. Some may be recyclable, some a heat source or R+D, but most are pollution not wanted to be kept in a giant clump. If the inner layer isn't structural it is good even damaged. Eventually heavy elements or dense materials science will deflect some and then most of the radiation impacting the ship surface. Most metal surfaces in deep space should be covered with BeO or Al2O3.
I'd have to recapture air from melted mantle ice at the top of the AirWolf canyon and replace the heat beamed ice with bricks of ice or rock at the mantle using machinery to avoid geological disasters. It is safer to bring such from outside the world, but even small objects and starbases might be NASA's preference for objects.
 
0.8 Earth G is when I see stable surface water possible. A carbon based rod shaped object 200km by longest dimension would eliminate the need for Faceoff gravity or centrifuges. The Pluto would be 30 300000 person communities. The safest ones only exposed to cosmic rays at the fringes. A ship would slough off irradiated metal in space and NASA would recycle the oxide parts. It will take a millenia of heloiphysics to establish where cosmic ray blocking solar systems are safer than Brown Dwarves. Establishing forward bases every 1/2 a LY to a main destination enables rescue in deep space as well as back to the Solar System to cure boredom.
Aluminum should be good for these kinds of metamaterials iD4 BD lenses.