Universe Guide

What are Flare Stars?

The vast majority of flare stars that we know about are Red dwarf stars which are the smallest and coolest known stars that we know of. These stars can undergo a significant change in magnitude in a matter of minutes. Not only can they brighten quickly, they can go back to normal in just as fast a time.

Other types of flare stars also include the RS Canum Venaticorum massive stars which are named after the first to be discovered of it group, RS Canum Venaticorum in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs.

Flare Stars are variable stars because they change in magnitude. They are also known as UV Ceti stars because of the first flare star that was discovered. Types of stars are normally named after the first of its kind to be discovered.

Whilst solar flares occur on our Sun, they are nothing compared to the flares that can occur on these flare stars hence their name. It has been noted that some superflares have occurred on normal solar stars which are similar to our sun. I.O.P.

Red Dwarf stars are the most common type of star in the galaxy. They are too faint and too far away for us to see looking up to the night sky. Although we've known about a lot of the stars such as Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri) for millenias, we only knew about Proxima Centauri since 1915 when it was first discovered.

Flare Stars are similar to FU Orionis stars in that they both increase in brightness. The difference between the two is that a FU Orionis is a pre-main sequence star whereas a Flare Star is a main sequence star.

Examples of Flare Stars

Proxima Centauri

The closest star to us excluding the Sun is a flare star. It is about 4.3 light years away in the constellation of Centaurus. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light about 4.3 years to get there.

In addition to it being the closest flare star, it also boasts the closest exoplanet nearest to us. An exoplanet is a planet that is in orbit around a star other than our own star, the Sun. The bad news of it being the closest planet is that there is no chance of it having life on the surface because the star is a flare star. The star would destroy the atmosphere when it flares.

WX Ursae Majoris

One flare star WX UMa went from being a M type star to a B type star. An M type star is about 2,000 -> 3,700 K whereas a B type star is 10,000 and 33,000 K. The star is in a binary star system with a companion star which is 100 times more powerful except at times like this. A flare was recorded that made the star appear 15 times brighter than normal in a matter of seconds. Phys

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