'Orange dwarfs' may be the best stars to study in search for life

Space.com | 1/20/1978 | Elizabeth Howell
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Move over, red dwarfs. Emerging research shows that another star type could be more friendly to life.

Building on nearly 30 years of exoplanet discoveries and studies, some researchers now suggest that orange dwarfs, not the more commonly discussed red dwarfs, could be the best stars to host life. These stars are more stable than their redder counterparts; they burn for billions of years and are less likely to send out damaging X-ray and ultraviolet radiation.

Arguments - Favor - Life - Orange - Dwarfs

There are other arguments in favor of looking for life around orange dwarfs, too, the scientists behind a new study said during a presentation on Jan. 7 at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu. For example, even though we're used to living with a larger sun, orange dwarfs are three times more abundant than stars of our type, the researchers said. More abundant stars means more chances at life.

Luckily for scientists, orange dwarfs (also known as K stars) represent relatively easy targets for finding planets. The light of such stars is slightly dimmer than our own star, making planets more easily visible as they cross the star's face. And the mass of an orange dwarf is a little smaller than that of a star like our sun, making for a bigger gravitational wobble in the star as it gets tugged on by an orbiting planet.

Orange - Dwarfs - Sun - Time - Life

Orange dwarfs are also remarkably long-lived compared with our sun, allowing more time for complex life to potentially arise on their planets. Our...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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