What is a Solar Flare?

A solar flare is one of the three major components of a solar storm. The other two components are solar proton events (SPE) and coronal mass ejections (CME). Not all solar storms produce all three components, but the largest storms tend to. A large enough solar flare can produce a CME so powerful that it not only produces large green auroras in the sky, but also cripple the electrical infrastructure of the world. Our story begins the day before such a storm hits earth.

Here are some great links to websites that explain all about solar flares and other space weather:

  1. http://soho.nascom.nasa.gov/about/about.html
  2. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/solar-activity.html
  3. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
  4. http://spaceweather.com/
  5. http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/flare.htm
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