In a record-breaking discovery, scientists detected our very own sun emitting an extraordinary amount of gamma rays — wavelengths of light known to carry the most energy of any other wavelength in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is quite a big deal as it marks the highest-energy radiation to ever be documented coming from our planet’s host star. 

Something like 1 trillion electron volts, to be exact.

“After looking at six years’ worth of data, out popped this excess of gamma rays,” Meher Un Nisa, a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University and co-author of a new paper about the findings released Wednesday (Aug. 3), said in a statement. “When we first saw it, we were like, ‘We definitely messed this up. The sun cannot be this bright at these energies.'” 

Upon deliberation, however, the team realized that such brightness definitely existed — and it was simply due to the sheer amount of gamma rays the sun seemed to be spitting out. 

“The sun is more surprising than we knew,” Nisa said. 

Before you start worrying, no, these rays can’t harm us. But what they can do is have a pretty important ripple effect for the future of solar physics. In fact, they have already raised some important questions about the sun, such as what role its magnetic field might play in the newly observed gamma-ray phenomenon.