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.


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

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Magnetic connection.


  1. 1.

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


  1. 1

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

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

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

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

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

  11. 11

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

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



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

Further reading


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