Although scientists reassure us that such events are very unlikely to happen, Sun’s solar superflare could end life on Earth. This conclusion was reached after researchers at the University of Warwick have studied the superflaring activity of the star KIC9655129.
Images of the stellar superflares have been registered with the help of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. After closely analyzing these images, astronomers have reached the conclusion that the superflares produced by the celestial object KIC9655129 are very similar to the ones found in our own solar system.
Superflares consist in violent eruptions or waves that occur periodically in the solar system. Solar superflares are said to be less powerful than stellar ones. The former contain enough energy to create 100 million megaton bombs, whereas stellar superflares are the equivalent of 100 billion megaton bombs.
The findings of the new study come to contradict or complement what has been previously stated. The fact that stellar superflares have the same structure as solar ones has got scientists thinking that our sun could produce similarly strong and devastating waves, as well.
The next step was to determine the effects of a similarly powerful solar superflare in our solar system. According to scientists’ estimates, it appears that Sun’s solar superflare could end life on Earth as we know it.
The first noticeable effects would be the complete disruption of GPS and radio communication, whereas large regions of the Earth would experience complete blackouts. Nevertheless, these effects appear after each and every sun eruption, so astronomers presume a solar superflare the size of 100 billion megaton bombs would be catastrophic.
The sun-like star that was recently observed is located at a distance of 1,500 light-years away from our solar system. This is one of the reasons why superflares are very unlikely on the Sun because conditions differ from one system to another.
Scientists have concluded that the sun is not capable of producing superflares. While superfalres have similar structure, conditions on KIC9655129 are still very different from those on the Sun; therefore, the waves that the sun produces are generally innocuous.
The findings of the current study were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Image source: www.pixabay.com