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The connection between superflares and alien life explained

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The bigger they come…

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Using the Evryscope (left) and TESS (right), astronomers at UNC studied superflares from stars that could affect the development of life on distant world. Image credit: UNC (left) and NASA/GSFC (right)

Solar flares take place on our own Sun, but the vast majority of these are fairly small and well-contained. However, some stars produce superflares — stellar eruptions 10 to 1,000 larger than anything seen on the Sun. Such eruptions produce powerful outbursts of ultraviolet radiation capable of wiping out life on planets in orbit around the star.

The team observed target stars using the UNC-Chapel Hill Evryscope telescope array and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), seeking to understand how superflares affect exoplanets.

Researchers found a relationship between the size of a superflare and its temperature. The amount of radiation released by superflares is dependent on temperature, connecting the size of the flare to the amount of energy released.

Superflares generally emit the majority of their energy over a short 15-minute period. Observations were taken by astronomers every two minutes, producing data throughout the events.

Superflares could supply most of the ultraviolet radiation affecting biological processes on alien worlds.

If such flares erupt at temperatures over 8,700 degrees Celsius (15,700 Fahrenheit), ultraviolet radiation could be 10 times greater than would be expected from studying just visible light from the events, the study found. This finding could potentially change our understanding of how superflares affect exoplanets.

“However, it is unknown for how long M-dwarf superflares reach temperatures above 9000 K. Only a handful of M-dwarf superflares have been recorded with multi-wavelength high-cadence observations,” researchers wrote in an article in the Astrophysical Journal detailing their study. The video below shows an interview with Scott Lambros, providing the latest updates for the James Webb Space Telescope.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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