Extreme space weather events can significantly impact systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation. They are driven by solar activity which is known to have an irregular but roughly 11 year cycle. By devising a new, regular ‘sun clock’, researchers have found that the switch on and off of periods of high solar activity is quite sharp, and are able to determine the switch on/off times. Their analysis shows that whilst extreme events can happen at any time, they are much less likely to occur in the quiet interval.
The majority of stars in the universe will become luminous enough to blast surrounding asteroids into successively smaller fragments using their light alone, according to a University of Warwick astronomer.
When it comes to the biggest and brightest explosions seen in the Universe, University of Warwick astronomers have found that it takes two stars to make a gamma-ray burst.
The first evidence of a giant planet orbiting a dead white dwarf star has been found in the form of a disc of gas formed from its evaporating atmosphere.
An international team including a University of Warwick astronomer has discovered a new planet around a nearby star.