Proxima B’s star Proxima Centauri has been found to release about 316,227,766,000 petajoules of huge solar flares, enough to make it visible from Earth.
It is also powerful enough that it may have killed all life opportunities for Proxima B. Imagine, for example, that the earth has been in Proxima B’s place during the flare. It will cause a chemical reaction on the earth and eventually weaken the ozone layer.
Here’s How A Massive Solar Flare Affected Proxima B
This is not to say that there is life on the surface of Proxima B, but it is assumed that it does not exist now, thanks to solar activity.
Allison Youngblood and her colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center recently released a document on the solar flare, which was discovered in March 2016.
When flares occurred two years ago, it was discovered through the Evryscope, a night sky measurement telescope that uses 24 cameras to observe transient events and planetary transits.
According to reports, this photo is ten times stronger than any other flash that Proxima Centauri has ever witnessed. This is known for its highly unstable nature. More importantly, it happens quite frequently.
Youngblood said: “We estimate that this size of flare on the Proxima Centauri occurs about five times per year.
“Because Proxima’s ozone column did not reach steady state at the end of this period, but continued to maintain a clear downward trend, we believe Proxima B may suffer extreme ozone loss for a long time,” the team wrote in the article.
Apart from the large solar flares, Proxima Centauri is also small and dangerous. In contrast, our sun shines from time to time, but it is not so intense that it destroys life and only disturbs the GPS system. It really sees things thoroughly.
So, we have the opportunity to turn Proxima B into a space colony. However, the search for the next habitable planet did not stop. But now, we still adhere to our own solar system.