BOULDER, Colo. — A seven-second stellar flare recorded by a team of scientists led by the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) could help frame the way scientists search for life beyond our solar system.
The flare -- 100 times more powerful than any similar flare on the Earth's Sun -- occurred on May 1, 2019, and was observed on our sun's nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, which is four light years or more than 20 trillion miles from our sun.
Recently, the team published its research in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and argued this flare could change the way scientists observe, understand and research stellar flares.
>The video above is about a CU student going to a Mars outpost in Utah
"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, an assistant professor at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy and Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at CU Boulder.
Proxima Centauri is currently classified as a "red dwarf" planet and has approximately 1/8th the mass of our Sun. But despite its smaller size, it is considered a "mighty star," MacGregor said.
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