Anatomy of a solar flare

30 Apr 2013

This one goes back to 2008. At ... Richard Mewaldt of CalTech describes what was discovered after a huge solar flare in 2006 as captured by the Solar X-Ray Imager on board a satellite. A burst of hydrogen atoms arrived first. These are electrically neutral and shoot straight out of the Sun without magnetic interference. Thirty minutes later they were followed by a storm of ionised material; such as protons, helium, oxygen and iron. These are electrically charged and the Sun's magnetic field deflects them, delaying their arrival near Earth.

Again, in 2008, another important story - the Sun's magnetic field may impact weather and climate - see ... where we learn that droughts in Australia (and in other parts of the world come to that) may be governed by solar magnetic phases and cycles and as an example they have compared records between 1914-1924 and the ten years leading up to 2008.