A new study has shown that although rare, a superflare from our Sun could threaten the Earth someday.
Superflares are events where a star ejects huge burst of energy that can be seen from hundreds of light years away. Although scientists don’t know what exactly causes the superflare, they previously assumed that such occurrences are common for young and formative stars. As our sun doesn’t fall into same category, scientists didn’t think superflare would be an occurrence.
However, in a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal researchers have found that stars like Sun have a superflare once in every thousand years. According to CU Boulder scientist Yuta Notsu, in case of such event, Earth would be sitting in the path of such radiation.
According to Notsu, a superflare from Sun will disrupt electronics across the world while disabling satellites. He said, “Our study shows that superflares are rare events. But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”
During the course of the research, the group of researchers used data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft and from the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. After studying the data, group found that superflares have come from 43 stars which are similar to our sun. This proves that age isn’t really a factor when it comes to superflares.
The concept of superflares was coined few years earlier after Kepler Space Telescope discovered several stars glowing significantly brighter for a short period of time. While older stars like the Sun might have superflares in every few thousand years, younger ones tend to have superflares once every week or so.