- A solar flare is a thunderous explosion that occurs in the solar corona and chromosphere within the atmosphere of the Sun.
The incredible energy level of a solar flare is equivalent to tens of millions of atomic bombs exploding at the same time!
Solar flares were first known to be occurring in 1859.
Solar flare activity can vary from several per day to only a few a month, depending mostly upon the overall activity of the Sun as a whole.
Solar activity generally varies on an 11-year cycle.
At the peak of this “solar cycle” there are typically more sunspots on the surface of the Sun, which ultimately leads to more frequently occurring solar flares.
Solar flares are typically classified as A, B, C, M or X, depending upon the degree of their peak flux.
Most solar flares occur in or around sun spots as the result of intense magnetic fields emerging from the Sun’s surface into the corona.
The powerful energy commonly associated with solar flares can take as long as several days to build up, but only minutes to release.
During the occurrence of a solar flare, plasma is heated to tens of millions degrees Kelvin, while electrons, protons and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light.
Solar flares produce electromagnetic radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths from long-wave radio to the shortest wavelength Gamma rays.
Solar flares cannot typically be detected by the naked eye from the surface of the earth.