There are two kinds of solar storms: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares. A flare occurs when magnetic energy builds to a peak near the Sun’s surface and explodes. This intense, fast-paced event sends high-energy particles into space. A much larger storm, a CME erupts when magnetic field lines snap, sending billions of tons of particles into space at millions of miles per hour. The particle cloud expands to over 30 million miles by the time it reaches Earth.

Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)


Posted 11 months ago with 21,328 notes
Tagged:AstronomysunHeliophysicssolar flareCMEscience

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