Current Event: Young sun-like star shows a magnetic field was critical for life on early earth

This article was published, by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and it discusses the sun-like star, kappa Ceti, and how it has shown that the development of a magnetic field was necessary for earth to have been conductive of life 4 billion years ago.

Kappa Ceti, is a sun-like star that has been discovered 30 light-years from earth, in the constellation Cetus or the whale, and is estimated to be anywhere from 400-600 million years ago. Scientists are now using Kappa Ceti to provide us with insights into our own solar system and earth’s history.

With an active magnetic field the star also experiences stellar winds 50 times as strong as those on our own sun, and it was agreed upon in this article that the stellar wind force alone would have made any planet within its habitable zone uninhabitable withou the presence of a strong magnetic field. Through studying Kappa Ceti, researchers are hoping to further understand the flare behavior of our own sun when it was young.

-Ashley Tims

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