Scientists have found evidence of an ancient solar “superflare” hidden in a meteorite that was first found in Kazakhstan in 1962, according to a new paper.
Meteorites here on Earth can be useful for telling the story of the Solar System’s history, specifically through the elements they contain. By analyzing the Efremovka meteorite, a pair of researchers determined that a superflare that occurred around 500,000 years after the Sun’s birth could have emitted as many x-rays as the largest solar flare each second, but for perhaps an entire year. A solar flare, which usually lasts just minutes, is an outburst of energy and accelerated particles from the Sun; today, solar flares are a concern due to their potentially harmful effects on our technology. Read more.