A new study may have just blown the lid off the question of how life originated.
An incredible new study is making a groundbreaking claim about the origin of life here on Earth.
Scientists at NASA are saying that intense solar storms 4 billion years ago warmed the Earth enough for life to form on the planet, meaning we may have the sun itself to thank for our very origins, let alone our current survival, according to a NASA statement.
NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered young stars similar to our sun, and many of them release “superflares,” which are massive explosions of energy that blast solar material deep into space as many as 10 times per day. Superflares today from our much older sun are much more rare, happening just once every 100 years.
NASA was able to use information from these superflares to order the stars according to age and therefore come up with a timeline that it was able to match up with our sun over billions of years. They found that the sun shone at just three-quarters of the brightness it does today, and the Earth received only 70 percent of the energy from the sun that it does today.
But rather than Earth being much too cold to host life, geological evidence suggests that the planet had liquid water and was quite warm, a problem for scientists known as the “Faint Young Sun Paradox.” Scientists think they’ve solved this problem through solar storms, which may have been key to warming the early Earth.
“Back then, Earth received only about 70 percent of the energy from the sun than it does today,” said Vladimir Airapetian, lead author of the paper and a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “That means Earth should have been an icy ball. Instead, geological evidence says it was a warm globe with liquid water. We call this the Faint Young Sun Paradox. Our new research shows that solar storms could have been central to warming Earth.”