NASA just observed a star, other than the Sun, emanate CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), a phenomena that is often tagged as Earth’s greatest threat.
A group of researchers recently identified a powerful eruption for the very first time from an active star, named, HR 9024, which is about 450 light-years away from us, using Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The star was observed emanating intense flash of X-rays followed by the emission of a giant bubble of plasma, ie. hot gas containing charged particles.
A High-Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer, or HETGS, was the instrument used to measure the motions of coronal plasmas.
For those of you not aware of what CME or Coronal Mass Ejection is all about, they’re basically a huge event in our solar history that releases violent solar gas, plasma, and electromagnetic radiation that can eject over ten billion tons of solar matter towards Earth with an immense power of billions of hydrogen bombs.
And although it is most commonly observed around the Sun, this is the first time when CME has been seen in a star other than our Sun.
These ejections are extremely powerful and can also extend across millions of miles into space, and can reach Earth within few days.
However, these ejections are not something new, and have been hitting our planet since the very beginning. In fact, every few weeks, these CMEs hit our planet without any major impact.
However, just because the probability of these CMEs hitting our Earth is low doesn’t mean that it will never. These energetic fluctuations are so powerful that if it does manage to hit Earth, it can induce electric fluctuations at ground level that could blow out transformers in power grids, says NASA. Also, if these CME’s particles manage to collide with crucial electronics onboard a satellite, it can potentially rupture its systems.
The results of the study confirms that CMEs can also be produced in magnetically active stars and further opens up the opportunity to study these dramatic events in stars too and not just the Sun.
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