A group of researchers observed how a young star named EK Draconis expelled a burst of energy and particles of a magnitude never before recorded in the solar system.
This work, which was published in Nature Astronomy, explores a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection, also known as a solar storm.
According to the authors of the research, if a coronal mass ejection hits Earth, the impact could destroy orbiting satellites and shut down electrical grids that power entire cities.
“Coronal mass ejections can have a serious impact on Earth and society,” says Yuta Notsu, a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of California at Boulder.
According to research, these types of ejections can even be much worse. By the same token, they serve as a warning of how dangerous the weather in space can be.
“This type of massive ejection could, in theory, also occur in our sun,” adds Notsu.
“This observation can help us better understand how similar events may have affected Earth and even Mars for billions of years.”
Scientists focused their efforts on studying the star EK Draconis, which is about the same size as the Sun, but only 100 million years old, making it still young to astronomers.
“It’s the way our sun looked 4.5 billion years ago,” explains researcher Notsu.