Superflare ultraviolet impact on Kepler-96 system: A glimpse of habitability when the ozone layer first formed on earth

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© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.Kepler-96 is an active solar-type star harboring a Super-Earth planet in close orbit. Its age of 2.3 gigayears is the same as the Sun when there was a considerable increase of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere due to micro-organisms living in the ocean. We present the analysis of superflares seen on the transit light curves of Kepler-96b. The model used here simulates the planetary transit in a flaring star. By fitting the observational data with this model, it is possible to infer the physical properties of the flares, such as their duration and the energy released. We found three flares within the energy range of superflares, where the biggest superflare observed was found to have an energy of 1.81 × 1029 J (1.81 × 1035 ergs). The goal is to analyze the biological impact of these superflares on a hypothetical Earth in the habitable zone of Kepler-96, assuming this planet has protection through different scenarios: An Archean and present-day atmospheres. Also, we compute the attenuation of the flare ultraviolet (UV) radiation through an Archean ocean. The conclusion is that considering the increase in the UV flux by the strongest superflare emission, Escherichia coli and Deinococcus radiodurans could survive on the surface of the planet only if there was an ozone layer present on the planet atmosphere. However, they could escape from the hazardous UV effects at a depth of 28 and 12 m below the ocean surface, respectively. For smaller superflares contribution, D. radiodurans could survive in the surface even in an Archean atmosphere with no ozone.
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Deinococcus , Earth (Planet) , Escherichia coli , Exobiology , Extraterrestrial Environment , Oceans and Seas , Stratospheric Ozone , Surface Properties , Ultraviolet Rays
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