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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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  • by pz (113803) on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @07:50PM (#40023781) Journal

    We deploy a new instrument and are puzzled and amazed at the results. This is incredibly wonderful, but shows how little we know about the universe. It seems to happen every time we deploy a new instrument. So much to know! So much to learn!

  • by rgbatduke (1231380) <rgb@@@phy...duke...edu> on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @08:19PM (#40023997) Homepage
    Did I mention that my name is Bob, my first Linuxoid operating system was Slackware, and I'm very definitely an ordained subgenius? Also, I used to smoke a pipe.

    So send your money to me.

    rgb

    (More seriously I'm reading The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. What a "Black Swan" an Earth-scouring solar flare would be! And one in 2012, too. Those pesky Mayans.

    One is also seriously reminded of a Larry Niven short story, but I can't remember the name, am not at home near my bookshelves, and am way too lazy to look it up. But it all starts with the full moon rising and becoming very, very bright, signalling the sequential extinction of land/surface life as the planet rotates. How would you spend your last hours?

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