Flares and prominences

(ORDO NEWS) — Often, especially when there are large groups of sunspots on the Sun, flares occur in the chromosphere.

They are like huge explosions, lasting only a few minutes. In a few minutes, energy of the order of 100,000 billion kWh is released in a small area: the same amount of heat comes from the Sun to the Earth in a year!

The causes of outbreaks are still poorly understood; apparently, they are caused by a sharp change in the magnetic field in the chromosphere. The flare energy is released at the top of the coronal loop, then propagates towards the photosphere, causing heating and evaporation of colder layers.

In this case, the radiation sharply increases not only in the visible region of the spectrum, but also in the ultraviolet and in the x-ray region of the spectrum, the flux of cosmic rays increases. Flares cause changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and can even damage power systems.

Another manifestation of solar activity is the appearance of plasma formations in the magnetic field of the solar atmosphere – filaments. If these filaments are visible at the edge of the Sun, then they are observed as prominences.

Prominences are huge formations in the corona of the Sun. The density and temperature of the prominences is the same as the substances of the chromosphere, but against the background of the hot corona, the prominences are cold and dense formations.

The temperature of the prominences is about 20,000 K. Some of them exist in the corona for several months, while others, appearing near the sunspots, move rapidly at speeds of about 100 km/s and exist for several weeks. Individual prominences move at even greater speeds and suddenly explode; they are called eruptive.

The sizes of prominences can be different. A typical prominence is about 40,000 km high and about 200,000 km wide. Arc-shaped prominences reach sizes of 800,000 km. Record holders among prominences were also registered, their sizes exceeded 3,000,000 km.

Coronal loops and arches, hundreds of thousands of kilometers high, consist of individual thin loops twisted together like threads in a rope. Plasma ejections from the deep layers of the Sun, according to recent studies, are the main cause of the heating of the solar corona.

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