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Looking For Life on Proxima B? Try Glowing Aliens.
Transforming harmful radiation into fluorescence could help life survive on a planet orbiting the volatile star Proxima Centauri.
Imagine a softly glowing world, inhabited by a multitude of species that fluoresce in response to their star’s violent outbursts. This could be a vision of Proxima b, the newly announced planet orbiting the nearest star to our sun.
That star—a faint red dwarf called Proxima Centauri—may be close by, but it has a rather infamous temper. A flare star, Proxima is well known for blasting extreme amounts of damaging ultraviolet light and charged particles into space.
Normally, bombardment by mutagenic particles is harmful for life as we know it. But what if alien life-forms evolved a glowing biological shield that could transform the fallout from Proxima’s spasms into something less lethal—and also be detectable from Earth?
“For the duration of a