Scientists now believe that our Sun is capable of producing a type of powerful and disruptive 'superflare'.
Source: Unexplained Mysteries
Previous research had suggested that these potentially devastating bursts of energy were limited to much younger and more active stars, but now according to a new study, it turns out that the Sun – despite being older and more stable – may also be capable of producing them as well.
If one of these superflares was to hit the Earth, it would likely cause widespread disruption – knocking out satellites as well as electronic devices, power cables and telecommunications.
Predicting exactly when one might happen however is proving a challenge. It might not happen for thousands of years, or it might happen next week – there’s really no way to be sure.
“Our study shows that superflares are rare events,” said study lead author Yuta Notsu. “But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”
“If a superflare occurred 1,000 years ago, it was probably no big problem. People may have seen a large aurora. Now, it’s a much bigger problem because of our electronics.”