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While researching volcanoes, it’s very clear super-volcanic eruptions are not only dangerous to life in its vicinity, but the entire planet as it can decrease global temperature and cause long periods of time without sunlight.

It’s obvious that earth would fall into a deadly volcanic ice age if super-volcanic eruption became very common. We would be sealed in a tomb of ice…

Now picture a large, young, very tectonically active planet very close to its star. It’s frequently bombarded with its stars heat as this planet is only around 0.3-0.5 AU away. At first glance a planet in this position would be inhospitable.

You probably already saw this coming, but now picture this planet covered with active super-volcanoes. Now you're probably thinking, "No, this planet is literally Venus. Volcanoes are only making it more inhospitable."

Well part of the reason Venus became the way it is is our sun's harsh UV rays that quickly evaporated all of Venus’ water. But this hypothetical planet would orbit a K-type star. These stars emit low amounts of UV radiation and if our planet had an atmosphere with lots of nitrogen (and then ozone if life did evolve) this would minimize its intake of radiation.

The planet would also be covered in giant oceans of water. This would help with a greenhouse effect and allow for more opportunities of water to seep into its inner layers and create volcanoes through tectonic plate boundaries.

Water would help with the creation of life and the ample amount of volcanic activity would increase the odds of life emerging in the first place.

So, with all of this considered, could this planet potential harbor life? If that is a resounding no, what could be changed to make life possible? Or is life just impossible on a planet this close to its sun and covered with volcanoes?

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    $\begingroup$ Am I misunderstanding, or does the question boil down to (pun intended) "Would the temperature range allow for liquid water given the characteristics of the star, the planet's orbit and the specified volcanic activity?" $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2023 at 1:20

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There is a known planet very similar to the one you are describing, it is called EARTH.

But it is not the Earth that all of us that we know, it is the young Earth of the archean period, between 4.0 and 2.5 billions of years ago: Geologically unstable, unstable climate, thick oceans, lots of atmospheric nitrogen, almost no atmospheric oxygen, orbiting a fainter sun and the most important, full of live, although that life was no more than very primitive bacteria.

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  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate the thought process but I think your missing the point. It’s obvious that life could evolve given most of the conditions I proposed but the question asks if it could do so VERY close to its sun. Like around how close mercury is to our sun. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2023 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ @HomegrownPotatoes A planet orbiting in a Mercury-sized orbit around a K star type could be a perfect place for life. Or it could even be too cold and too far away. Give a look into Kepler 296e, Kepler 62e and Kepler 62f. $\endgroup$ Mar 9, 2023 at 18:27
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It could be. Life is very creative, and tends to fill any niche it can. I personally whole heartedly believe there are probably colonies of earth microbes on Mars right now.

It would be unlikely, but I think it is possible. Especially on the edges of the world. Though it don't think it is likely that a space fairing civilization would be born on such a world, it could be a place a space fairing civilization might make a second home.

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