Giant glow on a star.  He will cleanse life on Earth

It is known that the regions around smaller stars belonging to the class of red dwarfs are a more hostile place in this respect. These stars, whose mass is a few percent of the mass of the Sun, are supposedly smaller, supposedly cooler, but at the same time angrier. The planets orbiting it (which usually orbit at much smaller distances than the planets orbiting the Sun) are bathed in X-rays and ultraviolet light emitted in numerous flares and coronal mass ejections. That is why scientists suspect that life is unlikely to exist on rocky planets in the habitable zone of red dwarfs. Each such flare could effectively remove any signs of life from the surfaces of nearby planets.

Also read: Proxima Centauri’s record-breaking flare. Something like this has been observed for the first time

Therefore, the above information should reassure those who, upon hearing that the sun is approaching its maximum activity, which it will reach at the turn of 2024 and 2025, fear strong flares on the sun. The Earth is lucky in that it receives enough solar radiation to make life comfortable on it, it is also a safe distance of 150 million km from it, thanks to which no flare will harm us. Even if a strong coronal mass ejection were directed directly at Earth, there would still be our planet’s magnetic field between us and the Sun, effectively shielding it from excess harmful radiation. In the case of the strongest flares, the most that can happen is damage to satellites, disruption of communication satellites in orbit, or overloading of energy networks on the surface of the planet, but nothing more.

Superflare on the surface of V1355 Orionis

Now that we know the sun is calm, and red dwarfs are restless, the V1355 Orionis binary system enters the scene. Observations of this system have recently shown that one of the stars in this system regularly emits super-powerful objects ten times more powerful than anything ever recorded on the Sun’s surface. If the Sun emits such powerful flares, it could, in theory at least, sterilize nearby planets, removing life from their surfaces, and even banishing their atmospheres.

Read also: Space Barbie scares, although it would be nice to look at her

The white cross indicates the location of the Orion System V1355 in the constellation Orion. Source: Stellarium

Researchers from Kyoto University Observers of V1355 Ori using the 3.8-meter Seimei Telescope and the TESS Space Telescope were able to record a giant flare that began forming a giant prominence on the star’s surface. The ejected material separated from the surface reached a speed of 990 km / s, which is almost three times the escape velocity of the star. At this speed, trillions (yes, thousands of billions) of tons of plasma escaped from the star as a coronal mass ejection.

Observations of both stars in the system allowed scientists to pinpoint the mechanism responsible for the superplanets. This system belongs to the star class RS CVn (abbreviation for the name of the system that is the prototype of the entire group, i.e. RS Canum Venaticorum). Stars of this type are magnetically active stars, often characterized by strong spots on their surface and frequent, very strong flares.

The V1355 Orionis system consists of a spectral-type K substar, which was the source of the superflare here, and a spectral-type G star, like the Sun. Scientists believe that more detailed studies of this system will not only help us understand the mechanisms behind the formation of superplanets, but also tell us a lot about the evolution of our sun, its magnetic field and activity in later stages of life.

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