Scientists have spotted a 'superflare' in the sky which is more powerful than those on our Sun. According to a report by Science Daily, these events occur when stars release huge bursts of energy that can be seen from hundreds of light-years away. While researchers are still unsure about the reasons behind the phenomenon, they assumed, until recently, that such explosions occurred on stars that were relatively young and active.
However, the new study shows that such superflares can occur on older and quieter stars as well, even though the occurrence is rarer.
As per a statement released by the >University of Colorado at Boulder, Yuta Notsu, the lead author of the study and a visiting researcher at CU Boulder said that such results should be a wake-up call for life on our planet.
If a superflare erupted on the sun, Earth would be washed with a wave of high-energy radiation which could disturb electronics across the globe, causing widespread blackouts and shorting out communication satellites in orbit Notsu added.
He said that while the study shows that superflares are rare events, "But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so."
According to the Science Daily report, scientists first discovered this phenomenon from the Kepler Space Telescope. Notsu and his team of researchers used instruments to narrow down a list of superflares that came from 43 stars resembling our sun, before coming to the conclusion that younger stars tend to produce the most superflares, but older stars like our sun can produce them too.
The results of the study were published in The Astrophysical Journal.