The Sun is mostly made of two elements – hydrogen and helium.
They are constantly bashing together and breaking apart and these collisions create energy – a LOT of energy!
With energy comes heat. At the core of the sun, all of this action creates immense pressure and temperature, which can reach more than 15 million degrees celsius!
The sun is made up of plasma – that’s a gas-like state containing particles which have been blasted into pieces!
Each piece has a magnetic charge – either positive or negative.
All the tiny pieces moving around attract and repel each other, create a swirling ball of magnetic fields.
This makes more and more energy – and all that energy needs to escape somehow! A solar flare occurs when all of that magnetic energy is suddenly released.
We’re getting better at predicting when solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections come from, but they can be erratic and unpredictable!
If you want to find out more about space weather, you should check out Deep Space High: Intergalactic Weather Watch! Sam, Stats, and Quark are all taught about solar flares, cosmic rays, coronal mass ejections and more!
You can hear Deep Space High: Intergalactic Weather Watch on: