Earth is often struck by solar eruptions. These eruptions consist of energetic particles that are hurled away from the Sun into space, where those directed towards Earth encounter the magnetic field around our planet.

When these eruptions interact with Earth's magnetic field they cause beautiful auroras. When the Sun pours out gigantic amounts of hot plasma during the large solar eruptions, it may have severe consequences on Earth.

Solar eruptions are, however, nothing compared to the eruption we see on other stars, known as 'superflares'. Superflares have been a mystery since the Kepler mission discovered them in larger numbers four years ago.

The largest observed eruption took place in September 1859, where gigantic amounts of hot plasma from our neighbouring star struck Earth.

Telegraph system worldwide went haywire, and ice core records from Greenland indicate Earth's protective ozone layer was damaged by the energetic particles from the solar storm.

Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark used observations of magnetic fields on the surface of almost 100,000 stars made with the new Guo Shou Jing telescope in China to show that these superflares are likely formed via the same mechanism as solar flares.

However, of all the stars with superflares that researchers analysed, about 10 percent had a magnetic field with a strength similar to or weaker than that of the Sun's.

Therefore, even though it is not very likely, it is not impossible that the Sun could produce a superflare.

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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