Watch: How Solar Flares Form

Footage captured by researchers is revealing the mechanism behind solar flares—twisted bursts of energy that fly out of the sun. The video shows magnetic lines getting entangled on the surface of the star, causing energy to build up until it becomes too great and an eruption occurs. The findings, published online this month in The Astrophysical Journal, will help researchers learn how to predict when and where solar flares will form, which is crucial because when the energy is released it can damage satellites, knock out power supplies, and threaten astronauts and airlines.

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