A newly released scientific paper has suggested our Sun might be capable of emitting ‘superflares’, 1000 times as powerful as previously recorded. Such an event would, quite obviously, be disastrous for human life on Earth (see Robert Schoch’s article ‘Death Star‘ for a detailed look at how vulnerable modern society is).
Astrophysicists have discovered a stellar “superflare” on a star observed by NASA’s Kepler space telescope with wave patterns similar to those that have been observed in the Sun’s solar flares. (Superflares are flares that are thousands of times more powerful than those ever recorded on the Sun, and are frequently observed on some stars.)
Typical solar flares can have energies equivalent to a 100 million megaton bombs, but a superflare on our Sun could release energy equivalent to a billion megaton bombs.
The Earth’s communications and energy systems could be at serious risk of failing, the scientists note, and disastrous for life on Earth. Our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large-scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids.
Related: ‘Death Star‘