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The violent youth of solar proxies steer course of genesis of life

10 Aug 2009, 18:00 UTC
The violent youth of solar proxies steer course of genesis of life

One of the hottest topics at this year’s XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil involves the study of the astrophysical conditions favourable for the development and survival of primordial life. New research shows that compared to middle-aged stars like the Sun, newly formed stars spin faster generating strong magnetic fields that result in emission of more intense levels of X-rays, ultraviolet rays and charged particles ― all of which could wreak havoc on budding atmospheres and have a dramatic effect on the development of emerging life forms.

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