By Jamie Carter
Our region of the Milky Way is dominated by red dwarf stars, but if you look up at the night sky you’ll not see any of them.
Smaller than our Sun, not one single red dwarf star is visible to the naked eye, not even the next star along, Proxima Centauri, which is just 4.24 light-years distant. Yet, being the most common and the longest-lasting stars of all, they dominate planet-hunting.
In fact, almost all of the 4,000+ exoplanets found by astronomers so far orbit red dwarf stars, which are dim and emit infrared radiation rather than visible light.
Despite the fact that life may have had longer to evolve around red dwarf stars, they have a tendency to flare often, with high-energy bursts of radiation presumed to make life on any surrounding planets unlikely.
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.