The biological impact of superflares on planets in the Habitable Zone

Adriana Valio, Raissa Estrela, Luisa Cabral, Abel Grangeiro, Bruce G. Elmegreen, L. Viktor Tóth, Manuel Güdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Younger and fully convective stars are much more active than our Sun, producing many superflares. Here we estimate the impact of the superflares UV radiation on living organisms on the surface of orbiting planets in the habitable zone of the star. For this we study two active stars, Kepler-96 (solar type) and TRAPPIST-1 (M dwarf). Kepler-96, with an age of 2.4 Gyr, is at the same stage of the Sun when the first multicellular organisms appeared on Earth. The biological impact of super flares are studied on a hypothetical Earth at 1AU of Kepler-96 and on planets TRAPPIST-1e, f, and g for three atmospheres scenarios: An Archean and Present-day atmospheres with and without ozone. We estimated the survival rates of two bacteria and concluded that life would only survive on the surface of these planets if their atmosphere had an ozone layer, or in shallow waters of an ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Astrobiology
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: Flare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this