HEAPOW: Flashing Lights - Proceed with Caution (2021 Sep 06)

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HEAPOW: Flashing Lights - Proceed with Caution (2021 Sep 06)

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:08 pm

Image HEAPOW: Flashing Lights - Proceed with Caution (2021 Sep 06)

Life on earth began perhaps about 4 billion years ago, when the earth was only about 10 percent of its current age. Earth's example suggests that, for planets which are situated in favorable spots, life can arise soon after the planet cools enough. How exactly this happened on earth is not known. How often this happens around other stars in the Galaxy, or in other galaxies, is not known either. There's a fairly complex interplay between the formation of planets and the young stars around which these planets orbit. Young stars are unstable, prone to energetic outbursts many many times stronger than the powerful solar flares we observe from our now middle-aged Sun, even the most powerful ever seen. Presumably our own Sun had a rather obstreporous childhood as well. Powerful outbursts from young stars might help planets form, by stripping electrons from molecules and helping them to stick together to form small solid grains, then pebbles, then rocks, then finally rocky planets. Strong stellar flares can also hinder the formation of life on newly-formed worlds by driving off a planet's nascent atmosphere and blasting the planet's surface with dangerous ionizing radiation. Since stellar outbursts emit powerful X-ray radiation, X-ray studies of young stars can help us understand the statistics of stellar flaring and its impact on the formation of planets and life. The image above is a still Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the Lagoon Nebula, a region of the Galaxy where large numbers of new stars are forming. By studying the variable X-ray emission from stars in the Lagoon Nebula and other star forming regions, scientists can determine the frequency and power of stellar flares from newborn stars, and constrain how such flares might effect the beginning of life in these new solar systems.



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Re: HEAPOW: Flashing Lights - Proceed with Caution (2021 Sep 06)

Post by neufer » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:13 pm

Art Neuendorffer

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CXC: The Give and Take of Mega-Flares from Stars

Post by bystander » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:26 pm

The Give and Take of Mega-Flares from Stars
NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2021 Jun 16
This image contains some of the thousands of stars from a new survey by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, as reported in our latest press release. This was the largest survey of star formation ever conducted in X-rays, covering some 24,000 individual stars in 40 different regions. The study outlines the link between very powerful flares, or outbursts, from young stars and the impact they could have on planets in orbit around them.

Within this large dataset, scientists identified over a thousand young stars that gave off flares that are vastly more energetic than the most powerful flare ever observed by modern astronomers on the Sun, the "Solar Carrington Event" in 1859. "Super" flares are at least one hundred thousand times more energetic than the Carrington Event and "mega" flares up to 10 million times more energetic.

The Lagoon Nebula is an area about 4,400 light years from Earth in the Milky Way galaxy where stars are actively forming. This field-of-view shows the southern portion of a large bubble of hydrogen gas, plus a cluster of young stars. The Chandra data (purple) have been combined with infrared data (blue, gold, and white) from the Spitzer Space Telescope in this composite image. ...

X-ray Super-Flares from Pre-Main Sequence Stars:
Flare Energetics and Frequency
~ Konstantin V. Getman, Eric D. Feigelson
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor