For the first time, a stellar eruption called a coronal mass ejection has been spotted fleeing a distant star.

Such outbursts of plasma and charged particles are well-known on the sun, and commonly follow a burst of light called a solar flare (SN Online: 4/17/15). Astronomers had detected flares on other stars, but never a corresponding coronal mass ejection, or CME, until now. The discovery could have implications for the prospects for life on planets in other star systems.

The ejection in question relates to a flare that was actually detected 10 years ago, from a giant star called HR 9024 about 450 light-years from Earth. The star is about three times as massive as the sun and 10 times as wide.

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