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It’s Heating Up

by / Thursday, 09 June 2011 / Published in Blog - Space Log

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The south is in the midst of a killer heatwave, with a forecast of 19 consecutive days of temperatures hitting 90 degrees or higher. This week also saw a unique space happening that was pretty hot. On Tuesday, the sun released a medium sized solar flare which caused particles to erupt in the shape of a mushroom and then fall back down and appear to cover almost half the solar surface.

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NASA defines a solar flare as “an intense burst of radiation” that comes from “the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots.” Did you know flares are the largest explosive events that take place in our solar system? They can last anywhere from just a few minutes to hours. Flares can be seen by the light they release and scientists monitor them using x-rays and optical light.

If you’d like to learn more about solar flares or watch some video footage of the one that took place this week, hop over here. As always, the internet is a great tool, but make sure you use it with an adult’s permission or assistance. Keep cool friend!

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