The stars that are just right to support life might be dimmer and longer-lived than the sun
Want to make a planet that can sustain carbon-based life? Don’t park it in orbit around a sunlike star.
“For the long term, the sun may not be the best star,” says Edward Guinan of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, coauthor of a paper reporting a new model about the suitability of planets for life. Smaller, cooler stars called orange dwarf stars might be the most hospitable, he says.
Guinan and two colleagues compared the ultraviolet and X-ray emissions of different types of stars and computed the damage this output could do to DNA, as a proxy for carbon-based life. The team presented the results in August at the International Astronomical Union meeting in Rio de Janeiro and also