The most common type of star in the galaxy is the red dwarf star. None of these small, dim stars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye, but they can emit flares far more powerful than anything our Sun emits.
As technology becomes increasingly vital in our day-to-day lives, we are more susceptible to “space weather”. What begins with dark spots on the Sun’s surface, and magnetic field disruptions in the Sun’s atmosphere, can result in widespread technological disturbance. With our increasing reliance on telecommunications and other technologies, monitoring what happens in space has never been more important.
Astronomers have made a significant step toward confirming a proposed explanation for how solar flares accelerate charged particles to speeds nearly that of light. This important advance was made possible by the new capabilities of the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope.
The Sun demonstrates the potential to superflare, new research into stellar flaring suggests. Led by the University of Warwick, the research has found a stellar superflare on a star observed by NASA’s Kepler space telescope with wave patterns similar to those that have been observed in solar flares.