Extreme radiation around small stars may not doom life nearby

Red and white dwarfs make nasty neighbours due to spurts of deadly radiation, but alien life could still form on planets nearby if shielded by smog or oceans

Could our Milky Way’s many red and white dwarf stars be home to alien life? These tiny, dim stars seem inhospitable with intense flares and destructive tidal forces. But with just the right circumstances, life forms on nearby planets could survive.

Our galaxy is full of small, cool stars. Red dwarfs are common but rambunctious stars that lash out in fierce flares. White dwarfs are calmer smoldering remnants of dying stars too small to explode in a nova, but only form after a star swells into a planet-destroying red giant.

These dwarf stars have narrow habitable zones — the region around each star that could have liquid water – yet their prevalence makes them tempting targets in the search for life.

Any planet inside a dwarf star’s habitable zone is close enough to be tidally-locked into a perpetual blazing dayside and frigid eternal

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