October 23, 2021

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Young stars commonly unleash incredibly powerful megaflares, study shows

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Young stars can release flares more powerful than our sun’s largest on record once a week, according to a massive new analysis of stellar activity.

Scientists believe that stellar flares play a crucial role in shaping the early history of nearby planets. For example, flares can push away lingering gas, which speeds up planet formation, but a steady pulse of powerful flares can destroy a planetary atmosphere, and even shorten the lifespan of a planet itself. So in new research, scientists analyzed 24,000 different stars, each of which is less than 5 million years old, to understand how stars may affect young planetary systems.



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