The solar flare seen on distant stars is 10 times larger than the strongest ever recorded. It has sparked fears of a massive ejection on our sun that could cause serious damage to GPS signals.

  • A huge coronal mass was ejected by astronomers who were watching a distant star.
  • Seen by EK Draconis, 10x more powerful than the most powerful ever recorded
  • This has raised concerns that mammoth suflare might also rise from our sun.
  • This type of flare can theoretically be produced, but it is unlikely every few thousand years.

A coronal mass explosion was detected by astronomers looking at a distant star. It is 10 times more powerful than any previously recorded.

This has raised fears about a possible mammoth solar eruption. The resulting mass ejection could disrupt GPS signals, and possibly shut down power grids.

Experts say such a flare may theoretically be possible but is unlikely to occur every few thousand years.

The University of Colorado Boulder conducted a study to determine if coronal mass injection could be used to create an even larger star flare. This happens when a bright flash of radiation is released deep into space.

Astronomers observing a distant star have spotted a huge coronal mass ejection that is 10 times bigger than the most powerful one ever recorded. Pictured, a coronal mass ejection from our sun, as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite on June 17, 2015

An enormous coronal mass eruption from the sun was observed by an astronomer who is observing distant stars. It’s 10 times more powerful than the strongest ever recorded. Pictured, a coronal mass ejection from our sun, as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite on June 17, 2015


A solar or geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere – the area around Earth controlled by our planet’s magnetic field.

When there’s a high-efficiency exchange of solar energy into Earth’s space environment, it is called a solar storm 

Our magnetic field creates Earth’s magnetosphere and shields it from all particles that the sun emits. 

CMEs or high-speed streams can disrupt the magnetosphere by crashing into Earth.

The Earth’s magnetic field interacts strongly with its arriving solar magnetic force if it is directed towards the south. 

The Earth’s magnetic fields are then opened like an onion, allowing for energetic solar wind particles and field lines to flow down to the atmosphere above the poles.   


Yuta Notsu (astrophysicist) was one of the authors.

“So, we believe they will also emit much larger mass ejections. However, this was only conjecture until recent times.

EK Draconis is the target of researchers. This planet, located at 111 lightyears from Earth, is about half as big and half that of our sun. However, it is much, far, more youthful. While it is 100 million years young, this is still a relatively young star in cosmic terms. Our sun is about 4.6 billion.

In April 2020, the team observed EK Draconis ejecting a cloud of scorching-hot plasma with a mass in the quadrillions of kilograms — more than 10 times bigger than the most powerful coronal mass ejection ever recorded from a sun-like star. 

They had analysed the star for 32 nights using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and Kyoto University’s SEIMEI Telescope before they got lucky.

Thirty minutes later, after an enormous superflare, researchers saw what appeared to have been a coronal matter ejection flying away the star’s surface. 

Although they were able to capture the initial step of the ejection’s existence, known as the “filament eruption” phase, it was still a huge beast, traveling at approximately 1,000,000 miles an hour.

Coronal mass ejections, also known as solar storms, occur on a regular basis with our sun, but nowhere near on the same scale as the burst of energy and charged particles that erupted from EK Draconis.

In 2019, for example, Notsu and his colleagues published a study that showed that young sun-like stars around the galaxy seem to experience frequent superflares — like our own solar flares but tens or even hundreds of times more powerful than anything scientists have seen in our own solar system.

Solar flares can damage satellites and have an enormous financial cost. The charged particles can also threaten airlines by disturbing the Earth's magnetic field

The cost of solar flares is high, as they can cause damage to satellites. In addition to causing disruption in the Earth’s magnet field, these charged particles may also be a danger for airlines.

Researchers said that it might theoretically occur with the sun, but they stressed that super-coronal mass ejections with the getting-on in-years sun are unlikely to be seen.

However, Notsu believes that massive mass ejections were more frequent in the first years of our solar system. 

With other words, massive coronal mass-ejections may have helped shape the current appearances of Mars and Earth.

Notsu stated that the atmosphere on Mars today is much thinner than Earth’s. 

“In the Past, Mars may have had thicker atmospheric conditions.” 

“Coronal mass eruptions could help us understand the history of our planet over many billions of years.”

The research has been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.


Solar stormsThe term solar activity or the quotient of sunlight can be broken down into four main componentsThese can have an impact on Earth.  

  • Solar flaresThe sun’s atmosphere is a large-scale explosion. These are photon-driven flares. Only solar flares can impact Earth when they are on Earth’s side.  
  • Coronal Mass Ejections, or CME’s are also known as Coronal Masses.These large clouds are made up of magnetic field and plasma that rise from the sun. They can explode in any direction. Then they continue in the same direction as before, plowing through solar winds. When they are directed at Earth, these clouds can only make impacts on Earth. 
  • Solar wind stream with high speedThese are coronal holes that form on the sun. The winds can only impact Earth when they’re closer to its solar equator. 
  • Photons of solar energyThe release of high-energy, charged particles is mainly caused by shocks at the front coronal mass eruptions and solar flares. Solar energetic particles are produced when a CME cloud cuts through the solar wind. They can also be created because their magnetic fields follow the lines of the Sun and Earth. Only charged particles will make an impact if they are aligned with Earth’s magnetic field lines. 

These may appear dangerous but astronauts aren’t in danger because they orbit at a low altitude for manned missions.

They do need to be aware of cumulative exposure from spacewalks.

This photo shows the sun's coronal holes in an x-ray image. The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields, which when closed can cause the atmosphere to suddenly and violently release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections

The coronal holes of the sun are shown in this x-ray photo. Corona is an outer atmosphere of solar radiation. It’s characterized by magnetic fields that can close and release gas or bubbles from the atmosphere.

Solar storms can cause severe damage 

Sunspots may be damaged by solar flares, which can also have huge financial consequences.

By disrupting Earth’s magnet field, charged particles may also be a danger to airline passengers.

Large flares may even cause currents in electricity grids, which can knock out power supplies.

Coronal Mass Ejections are geomagnetic storms that strike Earth and enhance aurora.

They are capable of disrupting radio waves and GPS coordinates, as well as overloading electrical systems.

An enormous influx of power could cause permanent damage to transformers and high-voltage power grids.

It could result in the closing of businesses or homes all over the globe. 

NASA, Solar Storm and Space Weather