Determining the habitability of red dwarf systems could help reveal the likelihood of extraterrestrial life, as red dwarfs make up most stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. While the relatively little energy output, small habitable zones, probability of tidally locked planets, and high stellar variation are postulated impediments to habitability, the ubiquity and longevity of red dwarfs are possible positive factors.
As of 2012, many factors appear to indicate that many red dwarfs, smaller than 30% of Sun's mass, have a very low probability for hosting indigenous life. Planets in the habitable zone of most red dwarfs would experience such a strong tidal heating that the hydrogen necessary for water and all known life would be 'baked out' of the planets before a stable orbit could be achieved, creating so-called 'Tidal Venuses'. Combined with other problems, such as those created by tidal locking, the variable radiation of red dwarfs, lack of planetary axial tilts, small habitable zones due to low energy output, different spectral energy distribution than the Sun (lacking ultraviolet and visible light), etc., this would indicate that the probability of red dwarf stars hosting life as we know it is very low compared to other star types. However, this does not mean that the planets around red dwarfs are 'uninhabitable' (could not be inhabited by future humans or other non-indigenous life).
A recent estimate put the number of Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of red dwarf stars in our galaxy to number in the tens of billions. So although very improbable, the sheer number of red dwarf planets might overcome the limitations of red dwarf systems, and further scientific research and insights into astrobiology may also increase the odds of finding life around M-class stars.
Other articles related to "habitability of red dwarf systems, red dwarf system, red":
... in our galaxy he describes is one in the terminator zone of a tidally locked planet of a red dwarf system ... highly advanced Chirpsithra aliens evolved on a tide-locked Oxygen world around a Red Dwarf ... mass, a little colder, and used Red Dwarf sunlight ...
Famous quotes containing the words systems, dwarf and/or red:
“In all systems of theology the devil figures as a male person.... Yes, it is women who keep the church going.”
—Don Marquis (18781937)
“A dwarf who brings a standard along with him to measure his own sizetake my word, is a dwarf in more articles than one.”
—Laurence Sterne (17131768)
“Now I am alone with the dead,
flying off bridges,
hurling myself like a beer can into the wastebasket.
I am flying like a single red rose,
leaving a jet stream
—Anne Sexton (19281974)