Nearby Star Unleashes the Most Powerful Flare That Was Ever Observed – We Should Be Worried

Nearby Star Unleashes the Most Powerful Flare That Was Ever Observed – We Should Be Worried
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There are more stars in the Universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. These shiny and beautiful space objects have their moments when they become extremely dangerous for their surroundings, even when we’re talking about entire planets.

According to Gizmodo.com, a star that’s located close to us known by the name of EK Draconis and that even resembles our Sun has unleashed an unprecedented flare. The phenomenon is ten times larger than any of those that were previously observed by astronomers.

Why the news is concerning

The same publication mentioned above reveals that if our beloved Sun unleashed a flare so powerful as EK Draconis did, it would be very dangerous for satellites and electrical grids. The star that our Earth revolves around has also been ejecting flares into space throughout its history.

EK Draconis is similar to our Sun because these two stars have pretty much the same mass. On the other hand, the former is a lot younger. While the Sun has been around for 4.6 billion years, EK Draconis is only about 100 million years old.

Yuta Notsu, who is a co-author of the study and also an astrophysicist at the National Solar Observatory and UC Boulder, said in an email for Gizmodo:

The results help us to improve understanding on how coronal large mass ejections have occurred over the 4.6-billion-year history of Sun-sized stars and our Sun itself,

Although such big super CMEs occurred much more frequently at a younger age, this event can be a proxy for the possible super CMEs associated with possible superflares once every hundred or thousand years on our current Sun.

Therefore, let’s hope that astronomers will continue to keep an eye on what’s happening on the Sun’s surface and that they’ll have more and more advanced gear to help them in the long run.

The new findings were published in Nature Astronomy.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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