This Incredible Stellar Eruption Is 10 Billion Times Brighter Than Our Sun's Eruptions

This Incredible Stellar Eruption Is 10 Billion Times Brighter Than Our Sun's Eruptions

Astronomers have recently observed a spectacular stellar eruption in the Orion Nebula. This one is about 10 billion times brighter than the eruptions of our Sun.

Its name may not be catchy, but JW 566, a young star located 389 parsecs (1,269 light-years) from Earth, in the Orion nebula, makes up for what it lacks in its name in power. In November 2016, it produced an eruption of titanic proportions, an impressive coronal mass ejection, 10 billion times brighter than that which our Sun produces.

A young but powerful star 

The event is possibly the most luminous eruption ever measured from a young stellar object, and is also the first coronal mass ejection found at submillimetre wavelengths, according to the researchers. The SCUBA-2 instrument at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, cooled to a temperature of -273°C is particularly sensitive to these waves, allowed for its detection.

JW 566 belongs to the category of stars T Tauri, a variable star (whose luminosity varies) which is less than 10 million years old and going through a period of turbulent growth. When it is sufficiently massive, its hydrogen atoms will begin to fuse under the effect of gravity to form helium.

Disturbances in the magnetic field

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Observing young stars such as this one provides astronomers with more clues to better understand our own solar system. Huge eruptions like this one observed in 2016 also make it possible to study the behaviour of magnetic fields of stars and the phenomenon of breaking and reconnecting them.  

Researchers believe JW 566 is actively aggregating matter within the surrounding dust disk. The eruption could have been the result of a disturbance in the magnetic field that allows the travel of matter from the disk to the star. At the time of its reconnection, it would have been briefly energised by particles, resulting in a brilliant flash, explain researchers in their study, published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Check out the video above to see more for yourself... 

• Jared Taylor
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