Scientists are worried about the devastating radiation blast that erupted from a star 100 light-years away.
to: the sun
Free translation from English by lapatilla.com
Experts say a similar solar storm spewing in our direction from the sun would have taken humanity back to the Middle Ages.
It would alarm satellites in orbit and collapse power grids that serve entire cities, causing widespread blackouts and hitting phone networks.
According to a study published this week, researchers have for the first time detected stellar eruptions in a nearby star system.
The star from which it emerged is called EK Draconis, which is a Latin word meaning “dragon”. It is located in the constellation of Draco in the far north of the sky.
Astronomers have described the astonishing fireworks display as “disturbing,” warning that a similar event could hit Earth in the next century.
Known as CME (Massive Coronal Ejection), the Sun regularly emits such flares.
They consist of superheated clouds of particles, or plasma, flowing through space at millions of miles per hour.
It could be bad news. About every 100 years, a major CME is launched in our direction.
“CMEs can have a serious impact on Earth and human society,” said study co-author Dr Yuta Notsu of the University of Colorado Boulder.
The international team used ground and space telescopes to observe the amazing burst of energy emanating from EK Draconis, which resembles a modern version of the Sun.
It released a scorching mass of a trillion kilograms of plasma, ten times more than the previous record for a Sun-like star.
Experts fear a catastrophic solar storm will hit us by the end of the century.
It could be just as powerful, said study leader Kosuke Namikata, a doctoral student at the Japan National Astronomical Observatory.
“It could serve as a warning of how dangerous space weather can be,” Dr. Notsu said.
“This kind of high-mass ejection could, in theory, also happen on our Sun.”
“This observation can also help us better understand how similar events have affected Earth and even Mars for billions of years.”
He explained that coronal mass ejections often occur after a star emits a sudden bright glow or burst of radiation that can spread into space.
A previous study by the same group found that young, sun-like stars around the galaxy experience frequent “super luminosity”.
They are similar to our own solar flares, but tens or even hundreds of times stronger.
In theory, such a superflare could also occur on Earth’s sun and result in a similar megaglow.
“Superflares are much larger than the flares we see from the Sun,” Dr. Notsu said.
“Proud web fanatic. Subtly charming twitter geek. Reader. Internet trailblazer. Music buff.”