Read each paragraph and give me your opinion if you agree or disagree with it
The ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras is credited to be the first to put forth the current ideas and understandings we have of the sun being a body similar but not akin to our own world and not just a disk in the sky. NASA’s STEREO website allowed us to view a video of a Coronal Mass Ejection that took place in September of 2014. Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) happen as a result of solar storms. A solar flare will be immediately followed by the ejection of electromagnetic radiation bursts across the spectrum from radio through visible to x-ray resulting in a blast of accompanying intensifying light across the visible spectrum and past. These band like curved ejections are consistent with electromagnetic fields that are created and observed on Earth and can wreak havoc on communication and most other electronic or digital devices if the intensity was strong enough rendering most modern conveniences outside of indoor plumbing obsolete. Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (The above mentioned STEREO) is a system of duel satellites ahead and behind the Earth’s orbital path that is used to record and study the impacts of these ejections and their effects on Earth which provides the bulk of this information to scientists.
The sun is a gigantic mass of gases that emits radiation. Storms on the surface of the sun are common either magnetic or more severe coronal mass ejections (CMEs). It is during these CMEs that huge clouds of plasma consisting of energetic protons & electrons and smaller amounts of helium, oxygen & heavy metals blast from the surface of the sun into space.
NASA’s STEREO mission is a stereoscopic measurement study of the sun and space weather which also includes CME’s.
The brightness that appears to occur on the surface of the sun happens when the gas/plasma rises up from within the convection zone to release energy. This process happens in a granular pattern which appears to be the tops of the “columns” of gas/plasma which rise up to release their energy. Once released the plasma cools and becomes darker and flows back into the solar interior along what is call an intergranular wall.
As I have learned, CME’s have the potential to impact Earth tremendously and could have detrimental effects. If a powerful CME hit earth it could set our society’s progress back many, many years. There is potential for satellite orbit disruption or satellites falling out of orbit completely, global positioning systems disruption as well as global communications failures and widespread power grid failures and power generation failures. So it would seem and event such as this, would send us straight back to the industrial revolution era without the use our cell phones!
M Dwarfs are the star type that occurs most in our galaxy accounting for between 2/3 and ¾ of all known stars. Due to their size being less than that of our sun and their burning (shining) less luminously these stars can potentially live millions of years longer than our suns hydrogen supply will last. If a hypothetical twin Earth were to orbit a star such as this inside its own habitable or ‘Goldilocks’ zone it is very possible that life as we know it could have developed but the main concern I would have about it evolving into multicellular proto plant or animal life would be the increased radiation levels a planet orbiting a star such as this would encounter due to being that much closer to its own sun. Should organisms overcome this, they would potentially have millions of years more than Earth did to evolve further and gain possible intelligence. The probability of what could have developed will be easier to postulate on if we were to find life on Mars or Venus as they exist right outside Sol’s habitable zone but are believed to at least have pockets of area that could be hospitable to life forms despite different atmospheric conditions from Earth which effect radiation levels. A potential twin Earth with life on it could have a total humbling effect on mankind, pushing us to look past our petty differences and finally take our place among the stars.
How common are M dwarfs in our galaxy?
M dwarfs are the most common and abundant type of star in our galaxy. Scientist think that 20 out of 30 stars nearest to Earth are M dwarfs and there are about 100 billion stars in the galaxy. • Do M dwarfs live longer than the Sun? M dwarfs are smaller and live longer than the Sun. They possess less mass, gravity, pressure and temperature. Massive stars burn through their fuel much faster and have shorter lifespans.
• Is an M type main-sequence star less luminous than the Sun? Explain.
“Luminosity is a measure of the total amount of energy radiated by an astronomical object in all directions and at all wavelengths (Airapetian, 2014). The measurement is what makes up a stars’ brightness. The bigger the mass of a star luminosity increases. The Suns’ mass is about 432, 450 miles long with a diameter of about 864, 938 miles (Science Reference, 2018). Energy is generated in a dwarf star in the same way that it is in the Sun, which is through the fusion of hydrogen into helium but dwarfs typically have a mass of 7.5 to 40% compared to that of the sun which makes their luminosity less in comparison to that of the Sun. Even the largest dwarfs emit only 10% of the Sun’s light, while the smallest have just one ten thousandth of the Sun’s luminosity.
• Could life start and develop on this “twin” Earth around an M dwarf star? Defend your opinion. Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers discovered the first Earth-sized planet orbiting another star in 2014 (NASA, 2014) but there has yet to be any life forms discovered. I assume if things did develop, just as with our Earth, things would grow and adapt to the environment. It is said that life originated in caves or some type of hydrothermal vent so I suppose life on the twin planet could possibly evolve the same way. Maybe when Earth is no longer the twin planet will start life all over again.