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Solar “superflare” could hit Earth within the next 100 years, researchers suggest



(Planet-Today) A study published in the Astrophysical Journal suggests that the sun can unleash a massive burst of energy called a “superflare” within this century. Such an event can knock down the power grid and satellites, pushing society to the brink of collapse.

(Article by Virgilio Marin republished from

“Our study shows that superflares are rare events,” said Yuta Notsu, an astronomer currently performing research at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and the lead researcher of the study. “But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”

The sun is not as tranquil as previously thought

Superflares are high-powered versions of solar flares, which are sudden bursts of solar energy that cause stars to appear brighter than usual. They can be seen from hundreds of light-years away and are thought to occur mostly on young and highly active stars.

The first evidence of superflares came from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration‘s Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to search for planets several light-years away. Data from Kepler showed that the light from distant stars seemed to get suddenly and momentarily brighter. This suggested the existence of solar flares that are hundreds to thousands more powerful than the brightest ones ever recorded using modern instruments on Earth.

Before the CU study, scientists were unsure whether the sun could produce superflares, though some were convinced that the sun is too old to be able to pump out that much energy.

“When our sun was young, it was very active because it rotated very fast and probably generated more powerful flares,” Notsu said. “But we didn’t know if such large flares occur on the modern sun with very low frequency.”

To that end, Notsu and his colleagues searched for superflares generated by sun-like stars using data from the European Space Agency‘s Gaia spacecraft and the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. After analyzing those events, the researchers confirmed that younger stars tend to produce the most superflares, discharging enormous whips of energy once every week or so.

But older stars like the sun, which is currently aged around 4.6 billion years, can also generate superflares once every 1,000 years on average. (Related: Scientists warn of MASSIVE solar storms: “We need to be better prepared”.)

Earth’s magnetic field can blunt the effects of solar flares, but high-powered versions can be disastrous since coronal mass ejections – fast-moving streams of charged particles that typically accompany solar flares – can barrel toward Earth and knockout satellites, power grids and other electronics.

“If a superflare occurred 1,000 years ago, it was probably no big problem. People may have seen a large aurora,” Notsu said. “Now, it’s a much bigger problem because of our electronics.”

Past solar storms caused widespread auroras, downed communication lines

Powerful solar storms hit Earth multiple times before, bringing down communication lines and causing widespread auroras – the polar lights – that reach near the equator. A recent study in the preprint server arXiv shows that an intense solar storm in 1582 illuminated the skies over Portugal for three consecutive nights.

Researchers compiled old eyewitness accounts by observers in Lisbon. According to one of the texts, the night sky looked like it was burning in flames, which no one in the area had ever seen before. The text’s author had the same observation at the same time the next day, though it was less intense.

Sightings of auroras were not unheard of at the time because the polar lights commonly occur at the planet’s northernmost and southernmost latitudes. But witnessing auroras in near-equatorial regions such as Portugal was extremely rare.

In 1859, the worst known solar storm to hit Earth caused auroras that were seen as far as Hawaii and Cuba. Known as the “Carrington Event,” this solar storm also knocked down telegraph wires in the U.S. and Europe, triggering widespread fires. Reports showed that if a solar storm this severe occurred today, it could cause up to $2 trillion in initial damages by crippling communications and fueling chaos – a scenario that would take society up to 10 years to recover.

Learn more about the impact of a powerful solar storm at

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“Alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, researchers say




An organization of civilian volunteers dedicated to the study of
unidentified flying objects (UFOs) has issued a statement based on
decades of studying eyewitness reports. According to Mutual UFO Network,
“alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, reports

say the deep waters in this region may hold something surprising. After
analyzing reports from the ship’s crew from 1945, they hypothesized
that alien objects could be lurking underwater, off the coast of the

Alleged sightings of alien spacecraft nearly 80 years ago
have become a key point in research. Members of the organization believe
that UFOs move over water and may have “bases.”

allege crew members on a U.S. Army transporter ship sailing past Island
Adak saw a massive UFO sized 150 to 200 feet emerge from the water.
Although these reports are nowhere to be found, UFO enthusiasts believe
the unidentified flying vehicles likely were used to commute to
different supposed alien bases hiding in the deep waters.

the “secret reports” of the sailors aren’t available, investigators
have taken it upon themselves to unravel the mystery surrounding the
unidentified flying objects and they believe the ocean has alien bases
that humans aren’t aware of.

Enthusiasts claim that UFOs may be
using “underwater networks” or wormholes as superhighways to travel
between points in the universe. UFO researcher Johnny Enoch added that
such objects could serve as a vehicle for aliens.

There are also
theories that other places on Earth could serve as bases for alien life.
A mountain in Seoul, South Korea is believed to be hiding a UFO,
according to Dr. Steven Greer.

An episode of the series “The
Alaska Triangle” features satellite imagery that claims to show one of
the “alien bases” in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

another researcher featured in the program showed markings from the sea
bed that she claimed could have been roadways for aliens.

the mysteries of the ocean remain unsolved, researchers continue their
search, trying to unravel the mystery of what may be hiding in the
depths of the waters off the coast of Alaska.

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Enormous City-Size Comet Racing Towards Earth Grows ‘Devil Horns’ After Massive Eruption




A volcanic comet the size of a mid-sized US city has
violently exploded for the second time in four months as it continues
racing toward the earth. And following the massive eruption, the cloud
of ice and gas sprouted what looked like a pair of gigantic devil horns.

The city-sized comet, named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is a cryovolcanic — or
cold volcano — comet. It has a solid nucleus, with an estimated diameter
of 18.6 miles, and is filled with a mix of ice, dust and gas known as
cryomagma. The nucleus is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of gas called a
coma, which leaks out of the comet’s interior.

When solar radiation heats the comet’s insides, the pressure builds up
and the comet violently explodes, ejaculating its ice-cold innards into
space through seeping cracks in the nucleus’s shell.

Live Science report:
On Oct. 5, astronomers detected a large outburst from 12P, after the
comet became dozens of times brighter due to the extra light reflecting
from its expanded coma, according to the British Astronomical Association (BAA), which has been closely monitoring the comet 

Over the next few days, the comet’s coma expanded further and developed its “peculiar horns,”
reported. Some experts joked that the irregular shape of the coma also
makes the comet look like a science fiction spaceship, such as the
Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

The unusual shape of the comet’s coma is likely due to an irregularity in the shape of 12P’s nucleus, Richard Miles, a BAA astronomer, told Live Science after the comet’s previous eruption.
The outflowing gas is likely being partially obstructed by a notch
sticking out on the nucleus, Miles said. As the gas continues to expand
away from the comet, the irregularity in the coma’s shape becomes more
defined and noticeable, he added.

12P is currently hurtling toward the inner solar system, where it
will be slingshotted around the sun on its highly elliptical 71-year
orbit around our home star — similar to the green comet Nishimura, which
pulled off a near-identical maneuver on Sept. 17

12P will reach its closest point to Earth on April 21, 2024, when it
may become visible to the naked eye before being catapulted back toward
the outer solar system. It will not return until 2095.

This is the second time 12P has sprouted its horns this year. On July
20, astronomers witnessed the comet blow its top for the first time in
69 years (mainly due to its outbursts being less frequent and harder to
spot during the rest of its orbit). On that occasion, 12P’s coma grew to
around 143,000 miles (230,000 km), which is around 7,000 times wider
than the comet’s nucleus.

It is unclear how large the coma grew during the most recent
eruption, but there are signs the outburst was “twice as intense” as the
previous one, the BAA noted. By now, the coma has likely shrunk back to
near its normal size.

As 12P continues to race toward the sun, there is a high probability
that we will witness several more major eruptions. It is possible that
those eruptions will be even bigger than the most recent one as the
comet soaks up more solar radiation, according to

But 12P is not the only volcanic comet that astronomers are currently
monitoring: 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P) — the most volatile volcanic
comet in the solar system — has also had several noticeable eruptions
in the last year.

In December 2022, 29P experienced its largest eruption in around 12 years, which sprayed around 1 million tons of cryomagma into space. And in April this year, for the first time ever, scientists accurately predicted one of 29P’s eruptions before it actually happened, thanks to a slight increase in the comet’s brightness in the lead-up to the icy explosion.

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