Your World This Week, Mar. 27 – Apr. 2

Published March 28, 2016

Could The Sun Generate A Killer Superflare?

Solar Flare

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Solar flares strike the earth all the time — we just don’t realize it. Sure, they can cause disruptions in communication networks (or create beautiful auroras), but they’re generally harmless, especially when you consider how frightening their name makes them sound.

But a new report finds that there’s a small chance that the sun could one day emit a superflare that is indeed as frightening as it sounds — probably more so.

Other stars have emitted flares 10,000 times powerful than the largest ones ever emitted by our sun. Now, most of the stars have far stronger magnetic fields (which is the crucial factor). But about 10% of stars emitting these superflares had fields equal to or weaker than the sun’s, meaning we could one day face a solar superflare.

Read more at Science.

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