Record-breaking flare erupts from neighboring star
By Ashley Strickland, CNN
Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT) April 21, 2021
A giant flare that is 100 times more powerful than any flare our sun has ever released has erupted from a nearby star, a new study says.
Proxima Centauri is our sun's nearest stellar neighbor at 4 light-years, or 25 trillion miles, away. It's a small, dim red dwarf star with just an eighth of the sun's mass. And it's orbited by at least two planets, one of which may be Earth-like.
The extreme flare was observed by a global team of astronomers on May 1, 2019, and it only lasted for about seven seconds. The team used five telescopes, both ground and space-based, to capture the moment.
It's the largest flare ever recorded emanating from Proxima Centauri. The flare started near the star's surface and ranks as one of the most violent seen anywhere in the Milky Way galaxy.
The study published Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
"The star went from normal to 14,000 times brighter when seen in ultraviolet wavelengths over the span of a few seconds," said Meredith MacGregor, study author and assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, in a statement.
More, including more pics at link.