Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Startling superflares

Stars that are just like our Sun have flares more than a million times more energetic than the biggest flare ever seen on the Sun. The Kepler satellite has allowed these superflares to be studied in detail for the first time. See Letter p.478

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Magnetic connection.


  1. *This article and the paper2 under discussion were published online on 16 May 2012.


  1. Tsurutani, B. T., Gonzalez, W. D., Lakhina, G. S. & Alex, S. J. Geophys. Res. 108, 1268 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Maehara, H. et al. Nature (2012).

  3. Schaefer, B. E. Astrophys. J. 337, 927–933 (1989).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Schaefer, B. E. Astrophys. J. 366, L39–L42 (1991).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Schaefer, B. E., King, J. R. & Deliyannis, C. P. Astrophys. J. 529, 1026–1030 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Rubenstein, E. P. & Schaefer, B. E. Astrophys. J. 529, 1031–1033 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Cuntz, M., Saar, S. H. & Musielak, Z. E. Astrophys. J. 533, L151–L154 (2000).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Ip, W.-H., Kopp, A. & Hu, J.-H. Astrophys. J. 602, L53–L56 (2004).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Lanza, A. F. Astron. Astrophys. 487, 1163–1170 (2008).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 


  11. Shea, M. A., Smart, D. F., McCracken, K. G., Dreschhoff, G. A. M. & Spence, H. E. Adv. Space Res. 38, 232–238 (2006).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bradley E. Schaefer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schaefer, B. Startling superflares. Nature 485, 456–457 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing