Stellar flares seen from a nearby red dwarf star.

On April 23, NASA’s Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded. At its peak, the flare reached temperatures of 360 million degrees Fahrenheit (200 million Celsius), more than 12 times hotter than the center of the sun. The “superflare” came from one of the stars in a close binary system known as DG Canum Venaticorum, or DG CVn for short, located about 60 light-years away. Both stars are dim red dwarfs with masses and sizes about one-third of our sun’s. They orbit each other at about three times Earth’s average distance from the sun, which is too close for Swift to determine which star erupted. See: NASA | Swift Catches Mega Flares from a Mini Star

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