Solar Flame "ten times the size of anyone in our sun" is spotted on the tiny star



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The astronomers detected a vast solar eruption, ten times more potent than anything our sun could produce, bursting from a small cold star the size of Jupiter.

The tiny star is the smallest ever seen emitting a rare "superflare" of white light, researchers say.

The dwarf star is so small that it sits right on the border between being a star and a brown dwarf – and was too weak for the telescopes to detect.

Then researchers at the University of Warwick spotted the massive eruption in their chromosphere in an optical survey of the surrounding stars.

Lead author James Jackman, a PhD student in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, said: "The activity of low-mass stars decreases as you go to lower and lower masses and wait for the chromosphere ( a region of the star that supports flames) to get colder or weaker.

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"The fact that we have observed this incredibly low mass star, where the chromosphere must be at its weakest point, but we have a flash of white light, shows that strong magnetic activity can still persist to that level."

"It's right on the borderline between being a star and a brown dwarf, a very low mass, substellar object, any smaller mass and definitely would be a brown dwarf." By pushing that limit, we can see if these types of flares are limited to stars and if so, when this activity is interrupted? This result takes us a long way to answer those questions.

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