The aurora borealis is caused by eruptions on the surface of the sun - technically known as coronal mass ejections
- and recent solar activity has been unexpectedly strong, resulting in the biggest solar storm to reach the Earth for two decades.
The sudden light bursts periodically observed in active regions as well as flares and coronal mass ejections
could be provoked by cascade effects, similar to those described by the mathematical theories of catastrophes.
That is to say that even out to 5 million miles from the sun, giant solar storms or coronal mass ejections
can create ripple effects felt through the corona.
to monitor solar activity and to issue accurate, real-time alerts when space weather could affect the performance and reliability of technological systems in space or on the ground through the enhanced detection of coronal holes, solar flares and coronal mass ejections
, as well as improved geomagnetic storm and power blackout forecasts.
The phase where the coronal mass ejections
are frequent is called solar maxima and the phase when these ejections are lesser is called solar minima.
These include prominences and coronal mass ejections
[15-23], streamers [24-26], plumes , and loops [28-30].
The flares have sent off bursts of radiation from the Sun, known as coronal mass ejections
Magnetic loops in the solar corona, solar flares and coronal mass ejections
are among the phenomena that scientists still cannot fully explain.
These solar eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections
, possess an amount of energy on the order of a billion atomic bombs, Wang says.
The belts are affected by solar storms and coronal mass ejections
and sometimes swell dramatically.
Among specific topics are understanding the differences in three consecutive large flares, the nature of prominence bubbles and plumes, the inversion of physical parameters in solar coronal magnetic structures, coronal mass ejections
as a result of magnetic helicity accumulation, and dynamic features of the current sheet associated with the 2010 August 19 solar flare.
Dr Li added: "We don't yet know what causes these coronal mass ejections
and that is really what we hope to discover.