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Kepler Telescope Studies Star Superflares
from BBC News Online
Nasa's Kepler space telescope has provided fresh insight on the colossal explosions that can afflict some stars. These enormous releases of magnetic energy--known as superflares--could damage the atmosphere of a nearby orbiting planet, putting at risk any lifeforms that might reside there.
Fortunately, Kepler shows superflares to be much less frequent on slow-rotating stars like our Sun. The new observations are reported in the journal Nature.
The biggest recorded flare on the Sun was probably the "Carrington event" of 1 September 1859. Described by the English astronomer Richard Carrington, this outburst sent a surge of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles towards the Earth.
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In 2013, American Scientist featured an article on odd ice formations on plant stems, including these curling ribbons of ice. One of the types of ice discussed in the article was hair ice—long, thin strands of ice that grow under quite specific conditions. The only problem is that a new study shows the theory put forth at the time—that gas pressure pushes the water out—isn’t correct... (click the link above to read more).
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