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Space Science

Superflares Found On Sun-Like Stars 50

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-ready-for-the-big-one dept.
astroengine writes "Scientists have found superflares more than 1 million times more powerful than flares generated by the sun occurring on sun-like stars being studied by NASA's Kepler space telescope. The finding, culled from 120 days of observations of 83,000 stars, is the first to detail how often and how energetic flares on other stars can be. The discovery, however, raises a question about how the massive outbursts, believed to be caused by complex magnetic interactions, can physically occur."
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Superflares Found On Sun-Like Stars

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  • Only half (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @11:36PM (#40024715) Homepage
    You realize, of course, that we're really only seeing half of the flares. That's because we can only see the ones that happen to be facing us. It's just like with pulsars: there's undoubtedly a lot of them out there that we'll never detect simply because we're not in the path of their output.
  • Re:Only half (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AbrasiveCat (999190) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @12:40AM (#40025023)

    You realize, of course, that we're really only seeing half of the flares. That's because we can only see the ones that happen to be facing us. It's just like with pulsars: there's undoubtedly a lot of them out there that we'll never detect simply because we're not in the path of their output.

    Probably less than half, maybe a 1/4 to 1/3. You aren't going to see the ones on edge. It could also depend on how often we look at each star and how fast they rotate relative to us.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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