Researchers from Japan were able to detect a massive solar flare from a nearby star. The occurrence of such events is sporadic. Hence it is important to collect information about them in a limited time period. The superflare was released from a star that is almost 16 light-years away from us.
Astronomers from Kyoto University discovered 12 solar flares from a nearby M-type red dwarf star, AD Leonis, one of which was so massive that it was 20 times larger than the flares that the Sun emits. Although solar flares are rather normal for stars, including the Sun, such as superflares are rare and can significantly affect the Earth if such an event was to occur in the Sun.
Nearby Star experiences Superflare event in 2020
According to the researchers, AD Leonis, which is just 16 light-years away, has a lower temperature than the Sun, so it really has a high incidence of flares. However, it is still surprising to observe such a massive superflare, especially during their first night of observation using the new Seimei Telescope.
The researchers also found interesting data about flares. The light from the excited hydrogen atoms in the superflare was about an order of magnitude higher than those of typical solar flares of the Sun, something that was observed for the first time, they noted.
Further, they also observed flares wherein the light from the excited hydrogen atoms increased but, did not correspond to an increase in brightness in the rest of the visible spectrum.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.