A star lightyears from Earth has been spotted spewing out ominous fireworks – and scientists say it should serve as a warning to humanity.

A star lightyears from Earth has been spotted spewing out ominous fireworks – and scientists say it should serve as a warning to humanity.

スター, known as EK Draconis, is younger than our Sun but similar in size. Researchers watched as it ejected a blast of energy and charged particles that were far more powerful than has ever been seen coming from our Sun.

But the new study suggests that such powerful blasts could be possible from our Sun.

Such coronal mass ejections or solar storms happen regularly from our Sun. It shoots out clouds of hot particles that then hurtle through スペース – and can cause damage to satellites and power grids if they hit us directly.

But the new study suggests they could be far worse. 研究では, scientists watched EK Draconis throw out ejections more than 10 times bigger than have ever been recorded from a star like the Sun.

“This kind of big mass ejection could, theoretically, also occur on our sun,” said Yuta Notsu, a researcher on the paper. “This observation may help us to better understand how similar events may have affected Earth and even Mars over billions of years.”

Such coronal mass ejections come about when a star lets off a flare, which consists of a bright burst of radiation being suddenly thrown out into space. But on our Sun, flares are relatively calm; in other young sun-like stars in the galaxy, super flares that are hundreds of times more powerful can be seen, and could be possible on our Sun.

Scientists have not yet known whether those superflares would lead to similarly supercharged coronal mass ejections. But the new study looked at EK Draconis to see how that might happen.

“Superflares are much bigger than the flares that we see from the sun,” Notsu said. “So we suspect that they would also produce much bigger mass ejections. But until recently, that was just conjecture.”

新しい研究では, scientists watched EK Draconis through telescopes in winter and spring of last year. On one night in April, they saw a superflare erupt from the star – and about 30 数分後, there followed a similarly energetic ejection, travelling at up to a million miles per hour.

The findings not only link the superflare and the ejection, but suggest the same could happen on Earth. But our relatively elderly star is more calm and such extremes are unlikely, 研究者は言った.

It could also help us understand what happened in our solar system when the Sun was younger and more given to such eruptions, あまりにも.

“The atmosphere of present-day Mars is very thin compared to Earth’s,” Notsu said. “In the past, we think that Mars had a much thicker atmosphere. Coronal mass ejections may help us to understand what happened to the planet over billions of years.”

The research is published in a new study, ‘Probable detection of an eruptive filament from a superflare on a solar-type star’, に ネイチャーアストロノミー.