CU: Rare 'Superflares' Could One Day Threaten Earth

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CU: Rare 'Superflares' Could One Day Threaten Earth

Post by bystander » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:10 pm

Rare 'Superflares' Could One Day Threaten Earth
University of Colorado, Boulder | 2019 Jun 10
Astronomers probing the edges of the Milky Way have in recent years observed some of the most brilliant pyrotechnic displays in the galaxy: superflares.

These events occur when stars, for reasons that scientists still don’t understand, eject huge bursts of energy that can be seen from hundreds of light years away. Until recently, researchers assumed that such explosions occurred mostly on stars that, unlike Earth’s, were young and active.

Now, new research shows with more confidence than ever before that superflares can occur on older, quieter stars like our own—albeit more rarely, or about once every few thousand years.

The results should be a wake-up call for life on our planet, said Yuta Notsu, the lead author of the study and a visiting researcher at CU Boulder.

If a superflare erupted from the sun, he said, Earth would likely sit in the path of a wave of high-energy radiation. Such a blast could disrupt electronics across the globe, causing widespread black outs and shorting out communication satellites in orbit. ...

Do Kepler Superflare Stars Really Include Slowly Rotating Sun-like Stars? — Results Using
APO 3.5 m Telescope Spectroscopic Observations and Gaia-DR2 Data
~ Yuta Notsu et al
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