A study revealed that a young sun, which repeatedly bombarded superflares on Earth, sprouted life on this planet. Published in Nature Geoscience, the study unfolds the existence of Earth and how it became livable four billion years ago.
The researchers have studied the Earth’s chemistry of the atmosphere and mustered the data of stars that resemble the Sun in the first few hundred million years of life. The scientists used observations from NASA’s Kepler.
“Using magnetohydrodynamic simulations constrained by Kepler Space Telescope observations, we find that successive superflare ejections produce shocks that accelerate energetic particles, which would have compressed the early Earth’s magnetosphere,” wrote the study.
Researchers suggest that powerful coronal ejections could have turned the condition suitable for life.
According to phys.org, superflares would have broken nitrogen (N2) molecules in the earth’s atmosphere. It resulted in the formation of greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O or “laughing gas”), which in turn warmed the planet.
“As the particles from the space weather traveled down the magnetic field lines, they would have slammed into abundant nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere,” said Airapetian in a report by NASA.
However, the study says that the destruction of greenhouse gases like N2, CO2, and CH4, does not elaborate the existence of liquid water on the early Earth. Vladimir Airapetian, a co-author of the study, says that if there was no greenhouse gas to hold the Sun’s heat, then the earth would simply be an ice ball.
If Sun’s brightness was 70 percent of what it is today, the planet would have been colder. It is called Faint Young Sun Paradox. “Our model describes the ‘cosmic’ ingredient required to produce biological molecules of life,” he added.
Ramses Ramirez, a planetary scientist at Carl Sagan Institute in New York, said that as per the geological evidence, Mars was also wet and paradoxically same at that time. It might have also faced the same atmospheric interactions.