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Contact: Christine Pulliam
cpulliam@cfa.harvard.edu
617-495-7463
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Planet Orbiting a Red Dwarf Star

Caption: This artist's conception shows a hypothetical alien world orbiting a red dwarf star. Although it is in the star's habitable zone, this planet faces an extreme space environment that is stripping its atmosphere and generating powerful aurorae. Since they are subjected to such harsh physical conditions, red-dwarf planets may not be habitable after all, so life in the universe might be even rarer than we thought.

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

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Related news release: Harsh space weather may doom potential life on red-dwarf planets


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