Why Study Solar Flares?

Solar flares are the most energetic explosions in the solar system.

Solar flares have a direct effect on the Earth's atmosphere.

The intense radiation from a solar flare travels to Earth in eight minutes. As a result:

Energetic particles accelerated in solar flares that escape into interplanetary space are dangerous to astronauts and to electronic instruments in space.

Similar energy release processes take place in other cosmic events. These events occur on objects that are too far away to study in the detail that solar flares can be studied on the Sun. Understanding solar flares can aid in understanding these events.

These objects include:

Solar flares provide an opportunity to study physical processes in nature that are similar to those that occur in laboratory devices designed for the purpose of achieving controlled thermonuclear fusion.

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