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First sightings of solar flare phenomena confirm 3D models of space weather

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First sightings of solar flare phenomena confirm 3D models of space weather Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar ... From: Cambri

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Scientists have for the first time witnessed the mechanism behind explosive energy releases in the Sun's atmosphere, confirming new theories about how solar flares are created. New footage put together by an international team led by University of Cambridge researchers shows how entangled magnetic field lines looping from the Sun's surface slip around each other and lead to an eruption 35 times the size of the Earth and an explosive release of magnetic energy into space. The discoveries of a gigantic energy build-up bring us a step closer to predicting when and where large flares will occur, which is crucial in protecting the Earth from the potentially devastating space weather. The paper, Slipping Magnetic Reconnection During an X-Class Solar Flare Observed is published in The Astrophysical Journal. CREDIT: The SDO/AIA data are courtesy of the NASA/SDO and AIA science teams. For more information about the Solar Dynamics Observatory go to: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/.