Could nearby stars have habitable exoplanets? NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory hopes to find out

Could nearby stars have habitable exoplanets? NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory hopes to find out

The search for life beyond Earth dutifully continues. Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, as well as the European Space Agency‘s XMM-Newton, are contributing some new research to the hunt — and hoping to lay the groundwork for future projects.

The researchers are using Chandra to study radiation emitted from nearby stars to establish whether or not an exoplanet orbiting those stars could be habitable. X-rays and ultraviolet light could, at high-enough levels, damage an exoplanet’s atmosphere, reducing the possibility of supporting life (as we know it, anyway).

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