Maybe this research just confirms how special we are.

“We have pessimistic results for planets around young red dwarfs in this study, but we also have a better understanding of which stars have good prospects for habitability,” NASA solar scientist Vladimir Airapetian, lead author of the paper, said. “As we learn more about what we need from a host star, it seems more and more that our Sun is just one of those perfect parent stars, to have supported life on Earth.”


For those who still want to believe (*raises hand*), there’s hope. Ultimately, this is just a modeling study—in a few years, we’ll finally get our first cold hard data on Proxima b’s atmosphere through studies by the James Webb telescope and others. And maybe, one day, the interstellar starship from Stephen Hawking and that Russian billionaire will surprise us all by confirming it’s actually pretty chill on Proxima b. Fingers crossed.

[The Astrophysical Journal Letters]