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Life on nearest exoplanet may have been wiped out by superflare

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If there were aliens on Proxima Centauri b, they were probably fried by a superflare

If there were aliens on Proxima Centauri b, they were probably fried by a superflare

Roberto Molar Candanosa / Carnegie Institution for Science, NASA/SDO, NASA/JPL

Don’t pack your bags for Proxima Centauri just yet. Astronomers have seen the star emit a superflare that briefly made it 68 times brighter than usual, and could expose any life on the surface of its orbiting Earth-sized planet to fatal levels of UV radiation.

Ward Howard at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his colleagues spotted the flare in data from March 2016. It was ten times …

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