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Orange Dwarfs: ‘Goldilocks’ Stars for Life?

13 Jan 2020, 15:22 UTC
Orange Dwarfs: ‘Goldilocks’ Stars for Life?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Our Sun is a G2V type star, or to use less formidable parlance, a yellow dwarf. It was inevitable that as we began considering planets around other stars (well before the first of these were discovered), we would imagine solar-class stars as the best place to look for life, but attention has swung to other possibilities in recent years, especially toward red dwarfs, which comprise a high percentage of all the stars in the galaxy. Now it seems that the problems of M-dwarfs are causing a reconsideration of the class in between, the K-class orange dwarfs.
Alpha Centauri B is such a star, although its proximity to Centauri A may raise problems in planet formation that we have yet to observe. Fortunately, our long-distance exploration of the Centauri stars is well underway, and we should have new information about what orbits the two primary stars here within a few short years. If we were to find a habitable zone rocky world around Centauri B, one thing that makes it interesting is the longevity of such stars.
Unlike our Sun, which is about halfway through its 10 billion year lifetime, orange dwarfs can live for tens of billions of years, offering ...

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