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10 incredible images of solar flares

By: Katherine Butler on Oct. 23, 2012, 1:48 p.m.
solar flares on the sun


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Flares across the sun

This image showing numerous flares across the sun was taken on March 30, 2010. In addition to solar flares and coronal mass ejections, the sun's activity includes solar energetic particles and high speed solar winds.

Solar energetic particles are “released by shocks formed at the front of coronal mass ejections and solar flares.” Coronal holes in the sun’s atmosphere, or corona, are where high-speed solar winds originate. NASA notes that when these holes are near the sun’s equator, they may impact the Earth. Likewise, when a solar wind combines with a coronal mass ejection, solar energetic particles may find their way to our planet.