For centuries, scientists have been puzzled by the gigantic and unpredictable outflows of plasma from the Sun, sometimes so aggressive that they can cause the glow of the Earth and disturb communications on our planet.
But an international team of scientists think they may have finally identified the mechanisms that trigger these eruptions, and unlike previous theories, and small and large solar flares are caused by the same dramatic process.
If the new hypothesis is correct, scientists may be able to predict eruptions, but also and when will cause damage on Earth.
The researchers analyzed 3D simulations of two main types of solar flares, coronal shocks that are relatively small eruptions of plasma and large eruptions in which huge clouds of plasma and magnetic fields are fired into the space at tremendous speeds.
Thanks to new scientific models, scientists have been able to show that both types of eruptions are triggered when the magnetic field lines on the surface of the Sun are interrupted and merged into a process known as magnetic recovery.