NASA: Solar storms are possible key to life




NASA scientists have discovered that the young sun some 4 billion years ago, so many solar flares that the earth, in spite of the relatively low power of the sun, no ice ball. the bursts also made possible for the formation of complex molecules.

One important molecule that probably contributed to the warming of the earth young, was the break-up by solar storms of molecular nitrogen, either N 2, in a much more reactive nitrogen atom. The energy-rich coronal mass ejections from the sun or super solar flares , provided the energy required to break up the molecules, and nitrogen oxides formed.

Nitric oxide is a highly potent greenhouse gas, about 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so that the energy released during solar eruptions could be sufficient to warm the earth. The researchers calculated that if the amount of nitric oxide was less than one percent of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the young Earth, it must already have been enough so as to leave liquid water, one of the requirements for the origin of life.

In addition to the warming up of the earth by a young much weaker sun, about seventy percent of the amount of heat which is now comes from the sun, had the constant stream of particles with a lot of energy might still an interesting side effect, namely the formation of complex molecules . The planet consisted four billion years ago for a large part of simple molecules, and which are not sufficient to deal with complex chemicals. For components such as RNA or DNA to form, much energy is needed, something is still not clear how that could ever arise.

One of the molecules that are likely to also originated, is hydrogen cyanide, a toxic substance, but necessary for us to form amino acids which are indispensable as a building block of organisms.

The fact that the flow of particles could reach the atmosphere of the earth, also has to do with the solar eruptions. Those eruptions led to the weakening of the magnetic field around the earth which also was not as strong as now. The super-flares now come once every hundred years, but then probably penetrate several times a day, some other energetic particles may gave the atmosphere of the earth.

The data used for the study will include the Kepler mission. Kepler looks for stars that are old only a few million years, making it comparable to the age and the intensity of the sun back four billion years. Kepler’s data shows many examples of so-called super-flares writes NASA.

The research article published Monday in Nature Geoscience.


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