Solar-Like M-Class X-ray Flares on Proxima Centauri Observed by the ASCA Satellite

Science  02 Jun 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5215, pp. 1327-1329
DOI: 10.1126/science.268.5215.1327


Because of instrumental sensitivity limits and stellar distances, the types of x-ray flares observable on stars have been intrinsically much more energetic than those on the sun. Such enormous events are a useful extrapolation of the solar phenomenon if the underlying assumption is correct that they form a continuous sequence involving similar physical processes as on the sun. The Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA), with its greater sensitivity and high-energy response, is now able to test this hypothesis. Direct comparison with solar flares measured by the x-ray-monitoring Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) is possible. The detection of flares on Proxima Centauri that correspond to GOES M-class events on the sun are reported.