Scientists are expanding the definition of habitable zones (the area around a star where a life-sustaining planet might lurk), taking into account the effect of stellar activity that can threaten exoplanets’ atmospheres with oxygen loss.
By analyzing the level of a carbon isotope in tree rings from a specimen of an ancient bristlecone pine, researchers have revealed that the sun exhibited a unique pattern of activity in 5480 BC. By comparing this event with other similar but more recent phenomena, they reported that this event may have involved a change in the sun’s magnetic activity, or a number of successive solar burst emissions.
A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade, according to research. This black hole meal is more than 10 times longer than any other previous episode of a star’s death.