One of galaxy’s largest-ever solar flares sparking alien life debate

Scientists have just recorded one of the largest solar flares ever seen in our galaxy – and it's around 100 times more powerful than flares from our own sun.

These enormous stellar flares, jets of plasma, were shot out from a red dwarf star called Proxima Centauri, which is our sun's closest neighbour, and is located roughly 4.25 light-years from Earth.

This comes as a Space-X starship just had a near-miss with a UFO after NASA received a warning by the US Space Command.

It also follows claims that the US government is preparing to reveal information about UFOs after a recent sighting.

As a red dwarf planet, Proxima Centauri is among the smallest, dimmest main sequence stars in the galaxy.

And this mega flare, dwarfing the flares recorded in our own solar system, may well change how scientists think about solar radiation and even alien life.

In a new study, researchers closely monitored Proxima Centauri for a total of 40 hours over a period of several months back in 2019.

The team used a fleet of 9 ground and orbital telescopes, which included the famous Hubble Space Telescope.

Then, on May 1, 2019, the team captured the flare which shone for 7 seconds.

Meredith MacGregor, an astrophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said: "The star went from normal to 14,000 times brighter when seen in ultraviolet wavelengths over the span of a few seconds."

The Proxima flare also emitted different kinds of radiation, including an immense surge of ultraviolet light and radio waves known as 'millimeter radiation'.

He continued: "In the past, we didn't know that stars could flare in the millimeter range, so this is the first time we have gone looking for millimeter flares.

"It's the first time we've ever had this kind of multiwavelength coverage of a stellar flare", he added.

He went on: "Proxima Centauri's planets are getting hit by something like this not once in a century, but at least once a day, if not several times a day."

However, these new, ground-breaking findings suggest that the solar flares emitted by these red dwarfs are much more violent than previously thought, and this could reduce the likelihood of alien life developing near them.

The sheer amount, and type, of radiation sent out by Proxima Centauri could make it highly difficult for life to survive on orbiting planets.

Other red dwarfs are likely to produce equally powerful solar flares, which decreases the chances of red dwarf planets supporting life.

Alien enthusiasts shouldn't give up yet though, because it's not impossible for alien life to exist in these areas.

On the prospect of alien life, Macgregor commented: "A human being on this planet would have a bad time."

"If there was life on the planet nearest to Proxima Centauri, it would have to look very different than anything on Earth."

The scientific study was published online on 21 April in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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