Earth’s magnetosphere likely provided much-needed protection against stellar onslaught

For the initial life on Earth, the magnetosphere of our planet has probably provided important protection against the stellar attack, making possible the evolution of our flourishing biosphere.

Researchers have studied a nearby young sun-like star known as Kappa Ceti, and after analyzing it they have now realized how fortunate the inhabitants of Earth are to have such an efficient magnetic field.

Kappa Ceti is present just at a distance of 30 light-years in the constellation Cetus and as per astronomers estimations it is 400-600 million years old.

The star could be sun-like in distant future however it still needs to grow up a lot. At its life cycle’s early stage it is a turbulent mess, exploding with strong magnetic activity. Just like a teen during adolescence, the uppermost layers of the star are erupting with large clusters of starspots, showcasing the violent energy that has been torturing its stellar interior.

The outcome is a quite an angry star, exploding with flares, emitting 10-100 million times more energy as compared to the strongest solar flare ever noticed on our sun. Besides, the stellar winds of Kappa Ceti are 50 times stronger in comparison to the solar wind of our sun, tearing across surrounding space like a harsh plasma hurricane.

The researchers have been trying to look back in time at a star that would have been similar to our sun, billions of years back. However, to get a glance of this star from far away, it would look impossible that any biology would able to stay alive on a hypothetical planet in orbit. And even then the biosphere boldly faced the storm of our sun’s youth, a clue that it’s not sufficiently good to possess a planet orbiting a star within the habitable zone of a star. That planet must have its own magnetic shield.

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