NASA's Swift mission discovers mega flares from dwarf star

NASA's Swift satellite has recently observed strong, hot and long lasting mega stellar flares from the nearby red dwarf star.

Updated: Oct 01, 2014, 22:44 PM IST
 NASA's Swift mission discovers mega flares from dwarf star

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: NASA's Swift satellite recently detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. 

The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded.

The flare reached temperatures of 360 million degrees Fahrenheit, more than 12 times hotter than the center of the sun when it was at its peak.

It was earlier believed that major flaring episodes from red dwarfs lasted no more than a day, but Swift detected at least seven powerful eruptions over a period of about two weeks said Stephen Drake, an astrophysicist at NASA 's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The reason behind the giant eruptions from a mini star could be its rapid spin, a crucial ingredient for amplifying magnetic fields. The flaring star in DG CVn rotates in under a day, about 30 or more times faster than our sun. The sun also rotated much faster in its youth and might well have produced superflares of its own.

 

Video credit: YouTube