After finding a solar super-flare on a star similar to our sun has led researchers predict that earth’s sun is also capable of producing such super-flare that can prove destructing for earth. Researchers at University of Warwick located the super-flare on the star, called KIC9655129, using data gathered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
The researchers noticed that the burst on the star emitted wave patterns that are similar to flares emitted by the sun. Mentioning in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the researchers have affirmed that the sun is capable of producing a super-flare, which is 1,000 times stronger than its previous record.
Normal-sized solar flare is capable of releasing energy equivalent to 100 million megaton bombs. But the energy released from a super-flare is equivalent to 100 billion megaton bombs.
“If the Sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous 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”, affirmed study’s lead researcher Chloë Pugh.
Along with this, Pugh also affirmed that the condition required for super-flare is highly not possible to happen on the sun. The researchers have based their predictions seeing the previous observations of solar activity. But the researchers said that by studying flares taking place on other stars can help better understand the processes taking place on our solar system.
To know whether or not our sun is capable of producing super-flare, it is important to know whether the same physical processes are responsible for both stellar superflare and solar flares. Pugh affirmed that the study of solar flare pattern is known as coronal seismology.
By studying solar flare pattern, the researchers have come to know that the phenomenon is marked by regular pulses that resemble waves. The wavelengths match with the region from where the flare has been emitted.
There have been incidents when solar flares have multiple waves, known as periodicities. In the recently observed super-flare, the researchers have found the similar structure. Solar flares are generally accompanied by coronal mass ejections that are responsible for affecting GPS signals, radio communications and power grids because of the interaction between the charged particles and earth’s magnetic field.
There is a possibility of a sun-born super-flare, but the researchers that the stellar conditions that would lead to such an event are highly rare on the sun.