The Sun may be capable of producing solar flares at least 10-20 times stronger than anything observed in modern times, according to new research. This follows on the heels of recent research done using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope that observed Sun-like stars releasing solar flares 10,000 times greater than any yet observed from our Sun.
Back in 774-775 AD something caused a significant spike in the atmospheric carbon-14 levels observed in tree rings from that time period. Carbon-14 (14C) is a form of carbon that is created from high-energy radiation hitting the Earth’s upper atmosphere, where it converts nitrogen-14 into 14C. This is then taken up by plants through photosynthesis.
The 14C spike was discovered earlier this year in research being done on tree rings in Japanese cedars dating from 774–75. The researchers were unable to come up with an explanation for the 14C spike, all of the possible explanations seemed very unlikely.
But Adrian Melott, a physicist at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and lead author of the new study, says “that the Japanese team made a miscalculation in ruling out one of these possibilities — a giant solar storm.”
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