Young sun-like star shows a magnetic field was critical for life on the early Earth

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Life appeared because our planet had a rocky surface, liquid water, and a blanketing atmosphere. A new study of the young, Sun-like star Kappa Ceti shows that a magnetic field plays a key role in making a planet conducive to life. This age roughly corresponds to the time when life first appeared on Earth. As a result, studying Kappa Ceti can give us insights into the early history of our solar system. Such a fierce stellar wind would batter the atmosphere of any planet in the habitable zone, unless that planet was shielded by a magnetic field.

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