By studying a nearby sun-like star, astronomers have concluded that the Sun is capable of releasing solar flares a thousand times greater than anything previously recorded. Scientists say the chances of this are quite slim, but warn that such an event would threaten life on Earth.
Our sun may look relatively constant from our far away perch on Earth, but up close it's a busy place, full of plasma activity, shifting magnetic fields, and, yes, even explosions. Here are the different kinds of solar explosions you might see, and how to tell the difference between them.
Some surfers reach great heights. Some stay up for great distances. And some, as of just very recently, attach freaking flares to the back of their boards in a fiery cataclysm of curl. Those last ones are my favorite.
It appears Tuesday's massive solar eruption is already impacting communications in southern China and may disrupt satellites in orbit and electrical grids on the ground over the next few days. The X-class flare is the most powerful seen in four years.
Regular flares, while fun to place in sleeping friends' beds, are smoky, poisonous, and dangerous. These flares, on the other hand, are small, rechargeable, and are strong enough to be run over by a truck. But what about flare wars where you and your drunk father throw flares at each other, you ask? Well, don't…