We can always do worse. This is mainly conjecture, because if the Sun were less stable, life on Earth would likely not have evolved. Certainly not in the form in which it exists today. Recently, astronomers have turned their attention to the V1355 Orionis binary system. One of the things it’s made of is really extreme.
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The magnitude of the flares that occur on the surface of this star is so huge that if there was life on orbiting objects, it would not last long. Radioactive emissions can effectively wipe out all living things, although – again, guesswork – we can imagine a scenario in which the emergence and development of life in such extreme conditions could give it some degree of radiation resistance.
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Shun Inoue of Kyoto University and colleagues observed this binary system using the Seimei telescope and the TESS satellite. Under these conditions, astronomers saw a very strong glow. The system consists of two stars: an orange and a yellow dwarf.
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The first of these has been the cause of the recent uproar, and gathering information about these types of stars should help us understand other systems. The researchers consider the main parameters to be, among others, the measure of mass loss and the intensity of coronal mass ejection. Additional observations should help determine what is happening on the surface and in the magnetic fields of both types of stars, yellow and orange dwarfs. In the meantime, we can’t help but be thankful that life as we know it evolved on Earth orbiting a beautiful, docile sun. However, this does not mean that this will always be the case. At some point, in a few billion years, our star will become a red giant and grow in size enough to wipe out the planets of the inner solar system.
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