solar flare
  • Bright flash of plasma in the Sun’s atmosphere, capable of affecting radio traffic on Earth when particles of the plasma arrive at the Earth. Flares are most common at peak periods for sunspot activity, and are accompanied by ultraviolet and X-ray emissions as well as bright flashes of light. Flares seem to operate by a mechanism in which energy is stored by the Sun’s magnetic field and then released in a single sudden burst.
  • A bright eruption which develops near the surface of the sun. These are of tremendously high temperature, take a few minutes to reach full strength, and subside over the next hour or so. High-energy particles and rays are explosively released, and when they reach the earth may cause radio interference, magnetic storms, or auroras. Also called flare (4).

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