Throwback Thursday: The Truth About Solar Storms (Synopsis)

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” –Alexander Graham Bell

The Sun, contrary to what you might normally think about it, isn’t a constant, uniform source of radiation. It has an active surface, replete with temperature variations, sunspots, and occasionally a large flare or mass ejection.

Image credit: NASA / GSFC / SDO.
Image credit: NASA / GSFC / SDO.

But on very rare occasion, a flare like this makes it way through space and just happens to make its way towards Earth, where this hot, fast-moving ionized plasma collides with us. While the aurorae it produces can be spectacular, some of the other unwanted effects can be catastrophic!

Image credit: NASA / ISS expedition crew 23.
Image credit: NASA / ISS expedition crew 23.

What will it means if we get hit by a big one? Find out the truth — separated from sensationalism and fear — here!