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Solar flare

A solar flare is a violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere with an energy equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs.

Solar flares take place in the solar corona and chromosphere, heating plasma to tens of millions of kelvins and accelerating the resulting electrons, protons and heavier ions to near the speed of light.

They produce electromagnetic radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths from long-wave radio to the shortest wavelength gamma rays.

Most flares occur around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields emerge from the Sun's surface into the corona.

The energy efficiency associated with solar flares may take several hours or even days to build up, but most flares take only a matter of minutes to release their energy.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Solar flare", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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last updated on 2014-10-25 at 12:18 pm EDT

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