Suddenly: on a tiny star have been tremendous flash

heavenly body, which is barely enough mass to be a star, suddenly burst into a flash of incredible power. Astronomers are puzzled how this is possible.

the Discovery is described in a scientific paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Star J0331-783 is 27 light years from Earth. It belongs to the spectral class, the L class is very small and very cold stars, which was barely enough mass that their bowels started thermonuclear reactions. Weight J0331-27 is only 8% solar, and the surface temperature of only 1800 degrees Celsius (compared to 5500 degrees in the Sun).

There is a rule: the smaller the star, the more powerful is going on it flash. So, red dwarfs of class M can boast of real space disasters that call into question their suitability of planets for life. But astronomers did not expect that this pattern extends even to extremely cold L-star.

experts believe that the outbreak is due to a sharp restructuring of the magnetic field in a small area of the stellar surface. The energy stored in the magnetic lines is released and heats the surrounding material. Needless magnetic field is generated by the plasma — a hot gas consisting of charged particles. Previously, experts believed that the plasma surface of the L-dwarfs are too cold to generate a field capable of powerful fireworks.

Processing data space x-ray telescope XMM-Newton, the authors have detected a flare, recorded 5 July 2008. It lasted for a few minutes. During this time, in only one x-ray separated 2””1033 erg of energy. It is ten times more energy the biggest solar flares and only two times less than the total energy emitted by our star for the second (!).

Events of this magnitude scientists call superspace. They usually have the hotter red dwarfs of class M, but not cool L-star.

“This is the most interesting scientific part of the opening because we didn’t expect the stars [from the class] L-dwarfs retain sufficient energy in their magnetic fields to cause such outbreaks,” admits co-author Beate Stelzer (Beate Stelzer) from the University of tübingen.

suddenly on a tiny star have been tremendous flash 1the Discovery was made through the x-ray telescope XMM-Newton.Illustration from the esa

To this superspace L-dwarfs several times detected in visible light. However, the first such event recorded in x-rays. Moreover, J0331-27 in General has become just the second L-dwarf, which generally terrestrial telescopes catch x-rays.

after Analyzing data from other observatories, the authors found the optical emission of this flare. But seeing her in the x-ray range is extremely important. The fact that visible light comes from the surface of the disc, and x — rays of her day. This will help astronomers to understand how is it made possible a similar phenomenon.

“That’s a good question, says Stelzer. — We just don’t know [the answer]. No one knows.”

the Riddle does not end there. The fact that all known stars weak flash happens much more often strong. However, XMM-Newton observed J0331-27 a total of about 40 days and during that time found no other outbreaks, although the sensitivity of the instrument allowed them to notice.

it Seems that the magnetic field L-dwarf gradually accumulates energy and releases it at once in one powerful cataclysm. This behavior is not typical for the stars, and now astrophysicists have to deal with new facts.

this can help new x-ray flash on L-stars, if they are detected. Stelzer and colleagues made their discovery, processing, the archive of observations of XMM-Newton. It includes information about 400 thousands perimennih sources detected by the telescope for 13 years. Not all data has been processed, so there is scholars could be in for some new surprises.

By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” ( wrote about the outbreak in 10 billion times more powerful than the sun and on the ground observed the ejection of matter from the corona of another star.

Text: To.Science