Faint Young Sun Paradox Suggests Solar Storms Kept Young Earth From Freezing Despite Dimmer Sun

First Posted: May 26, 2016 05:30 AM EDT

Faint Young Sun Paradox could provide some answers on what kept the young Earth from being frozen in spite of the Sun's dimmer condition than what it is in now. Using NASA's Kepler telescope, a new study showed samples of what the researchers call "superflares." According to the research, these massive explosions are limited nowadays and that the event only happen every after a century or so.

The Faint Young Sun Paradox is the noticeable discrepancy between reports that the Sun has 70 percent less energy compared to what it has now and the liquid water in the early existence of the Earth. This suggests that the Earth must have been an icy ball. However, geological evidence shows it was a warm planet with liquid water, and according to NASA solar scientist, their research indicates that solar storm may have caused Earth's warming.

While the sun keeps on producing flares, these are not frequent. In addition, the Earth now has a powerful magnetic field, which prevents a vast portion of space weather to come into the planet. On the other hand, ancient Earth had a weaker magnetic field, Edition CNN reported.

Apart from this, the Earth's past and present conditions of the atmosphere are not the same.  For instance, one molecular nitrogen content consisting of 90 percent of the Earth's ancient atmosphere compared to the present condition with only 78 percent. As energetic substances hit into these molecules, nitrogen atoms split up and then collide with carbon dioxide, resulting to a carbon dioxide divided into oxygen and carbon monoxide. The oxygen combined with free nitrogen will form nitrous oxide, and based on calculations, if the ancient Earth's atmosphere had only 1 percent less of nitrous oxide than carbon dioxide, it will release enough warmth to support the liquid water.

Although enough energy is required to support life, an excess of it is also bad. Earth's atmosphere can be put in danger with strong and constant solar eruptions. Assessment of the balance mechanisms is significant in this area of study because it provides the experts the basis in determining which planets can support life, according to US News.

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