Many of our galaxy's suns have destroyed the atmospheres of orbiting Earth-like planets--or so astrobiologists have long feared. The Milky Way, they note, is dominated by M dwarf stars: violent, unpredictable suns that frequently hurl high-energy particles and solar flares into space. Because they are much cooler than our sun, any potentially habitable planet would need to orbit them much closer than Earth does, putting it smack in the danger zone. But a new study from NAI's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team indicates that these planets may be unexpectedly shielded from solar activity, keeping life safe. The study will appear in an upcoming edition of Astrobiology.
Source: NAI Newsletter