Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions. Researchers have identified the presence of a confining ‘cage’ in which a magnetic rope forms, causing solar eruptions. It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare. This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare.
The Sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change.
Astronomers in Japan have observed the strongest magnetic field ever directly measured on the surface of the Sun. They determined that it was generated as a result of gas outflow from one sunspot pushing against another sunspot.