Sun Capable of Spewing Massive Superflare and Affecting Life on Earth
A superflare detected on a binary star similar to the sun has led astronomers think that the star at the center of the solar system could produce an enormous solar flare that could be disastrous for earth.
The superflare was observed on KIC9655129 by NASA's Kepler space telescope. As per astronomers, the star’s superflare has same properties as the sun’s smaller solar flares have. It shows that our sun in capable of producing such enormous solar flare, they said. Normal solar flares that the sun produces have energy equal to 100 million megaton bombs, but a superflare is capable of releasing energy equivalent to 100 billion megaton bombs.
Chloë Pugh, lead author the new study, said if our sun really produces a superflare, it would be catastrophic for life on earth. “Our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids”, she explained in a statement.
Pugh also said some previous observations of solar activity suggested a superflare is very difficult to occur on the sun as the conditions needed for such an enormous solar flare are not favorable.
Astronomers believe observing flares on other stars in the universe could them in better understating solar flares on our sun and process going in the solar system. Solar flares often, along with coronal mass ejections, eject super-heated plasma into space.
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