Published: 25 November 2022

Webinar with Ilya Usoskin (University of Oulu, Finland)

Game Changers Online Seminar

Extreme Solar Eruptive Events and Their Terrestrial Impacts: Black Swans or Dragon Kings?

Solar energetic eruptive processes, such as flares and coronal mass ejections, are relatively well-studied during the past decades of direct observations. Although their maximum strength/energy is not constrained by direct data because of a too-short period of observations, we know that extreme events do occur rarely on the Sun over the last millennia, thanks to cosmogenic-proxy data, and also on sun-like stars, thanks to high-precision stellar photometry. Not only we can estimate their occurrence probability but even reconstruct energy spectra and assess the dramatic terrestrial and societal impacts. However, the nature of such events remains unclear – are they ‘normal’ but just extremely strong solar flares (Black Swans) or do they represent an unknown type of solar events (Dragon Kings)? A summary of the existing pieces of knowledge will be presented along with a try to make a distinction between the Black-swan and Dragon-king scenarios of the extreme events.