Space – NASA model: This is how the Sun looked like in its youth, Science News
NASA researchers have revealed a nearby star which closely resembles the young Sun.
The new study aims to find out the details about the Sun and about the development of life on Earth.
“At 4.65 billion years old, our Sun is a middle-aged star,” NASA said as curious scientists seek to find out how the Sun in its younger days supported life on Earth.
The author of the study, Vladimir Airapetian, senior astrophysicist in the Heliophysics Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said he was trying to “reconstruct baby photos” of the Sun with the new star which has similar characteristics to the Sun.
NASA said the new stars emit stellar winds made of superhot gas known as plasma. The US space agency said the most energetic plasma can shoot off away from the outermost and hottest part of a star’s atmosphere in an eruption with steam rising towards nearby planets as stellar wind.
The space agency said younger stars generate hotter stellar winds leading to more “powerful plasma eruptions” than older stars which can affect the atmosphere of nearby planets impacting it at any stage.
NASA scientists said that the Sun in its youth rotated three times faster and had a stronger magnetic field also released more energy including radiation and particles. The particles are now sometimes visible near the planet’s poles as aurora, or the Northern and Southern Lights.
The scientists are seeking to uncover the mystery behind the Sun’s youth although they agree it is a complicated process which will involve several years as new tools and ways of thinking need to be put in place to seek answers.
Scientists say the complicating factors in the study of the young Sun includes distance since it is still not possible to directly observe the stellar wind of other stars in the galaxy since it is too far away.
The study, therefore, relies on “scientific modelling” based on predictions on existing scientific data.
Previous studies have drawn on data gathered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to identify Kappa 1 Ceti as a young solar proxy, it said.
(With inputs from Agencies)