Astronomers observed a red dwarf that fired off a massive eruption. It was one of the most intense eruptions ever observed near a red dwarf.
Red dwarf or class M stars are quite common but also small and relatively cold stars. But it is precisely them who is capable of firing off extreme solar flares that make everything we have seen from our own Sun seem like just a tiny wave in a pond.
Astronomers from the British University in Warwicks observed a red dwarf that fired of a truly massive eruption. The gigantic mass of energy and plasma of this eruption was ten-thousand times larger than what we observed previously. The red dwarf in question was a young star with an unpronounceable name NGTS J121939.5-355557 that is about 685 light years from us. It’s only a solar youngling that came to be only 2 million years and the star seems to be maturing.
But that doesn’t mean it is growing. Quite the opposite, it is getting smaller and colder and from what we know about red dwarves it will get to live for trillions of years.
What happens during a solar eruptions
During a solar eruption, intense radiation in the visible, infrared, x-ray and gamma spectrum gets created And the scientists are convinced that the x-rays from such extreme solar eruptions could affect the material inside the protoplanetary disk.
But at the moment the scientists aren’t sure whether such eruptions could increase or decrease the speed of the planets and thus block or make the creation of life easier. Both could be possible.
And the question which of the options is true is quite relevant. Red dwarves are (at least in the Milky Way) by far the most common type of star. And we do know for sure that planets are common near red dwarves. And even planets that are in the habitable zone where liquid water can exist.