Young stars love to destroy planet atmospheres

New exoplanet discoveries have been piling up fast in recent years, and whenever astronomers confirm the existence of another planet there’s always an immediate interest in whether or not that planet could support life. For many newly-discovered worlds the answer is a firm “no.” They’re either too hot, too cold, or they’re just big balls of gas, but when a rocky world is discovered to be just the right distance from its star the possibility of life remains.

A new research paper published in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters explains how even some planets in the so-called “Goldilocks zone” of their parent stars can be doomed to harsh fate with no possibility of supporting life as we know it.

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