Posted on Feb 12, 2019
The eruption was thought to be caused by an interruption in an intense magnetic field that actively channels the material to a growing young star as it gains mass from its surroundings. The event occurred in one of the regions of star formation closest to Earth, the Orion Nebula. It lasted only a matter of hours.
The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), based in Hawaii, discovered the stellar flame 10 billion times more powerful than the sun's solar flares, a historical discovery that could trigger decades of questions about the origin of our own Sun and the planets in how these celestial bodies were born.
"A discovery of this magnitude could only have happened in Hawaii," said Dr. Steve Mairs, astronomer and principal investigator of the team that discovered the stellar explosion. "Using the JCMT, we studied the birth of nearby stars as a means to understand the history of our own solar system. Observing flares around younger stars is a new territory and is giving us key information about the physical conditions of these systems. This is one of the ways we are working to answer the most enduring questions of people about space, time and the universe that surrounds us. "
A huge black hole was discovered that formed the group of nebulae of Orion
The JCMT transient survey team recorded the 1,500-year-old flashes using the state-of-the-art high frequency radio technology of the telescope and sophisticated image analysis techniques. Identified by astronomer Dr. Steve Mairs, the original data were obtained using the JCMT supercooled chamber known as "SCUBA-2", which is kept at a cold temperature of -459.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Located near the top of Maunakea, the JCMT is the largest and only telescope in the Northern Hemisphere capable of making this type of discovery. The observation of stellar flashes was made as part of a monthly monitoring program of researchers from around the world who use the JCMT to observe close to 1,000 nearby stars in the early stages of their formation.
The Daily Galaxy through the James Clerk Maxwell telescope