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Massive solar flares may have protected early Earth
Posted: Thu, May 12, 2005, 7:02 AM ET (1102 GMT)
X-ray flares and protoplanetary disk (NASA) Powerful x-ray flares from the early Sun may have prevented the Earth from spiraling in, astronomers said Tuesday. That conclusion was based on observations of young Sun-like stars in the Orion Nebula by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Those observations found that young stars can produce flares at x-ray wavelengths that are 100 times as powerful as typical solar flares. Those flares, astronomers believe, can affect the protoplanetary disk that surrounds many such young stars and from which planets form. The flares can introduce turbulence into the disk, preventing planets that form within it from spiraling in towards the star.
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