Solar flares and Earth, artwork

Solar flares and Earth, artwork

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Credit: HENNING DALHOFF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Solar flares and Earth. Artwork showing a solar flare from the Sun (left) sending a stream of charged particles and radiation towards the Earth (right) which is protected by its magnetosphere (magnetic field lines shown). This flow of charged particles is present as the solar wind even when no flare has occurred. Most of the charged particles are diverted around the Earth. Some are trapped and guided by the Earth's magnetic field towards the polar regions, where they impact the atmosphere and cause the aurorae (northern and southern lights). The Earth-Sun distance is not to scale.

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Keywords: active sun, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, aurora, aurora australis, aurora borealis, aurorae, charged particles, divert, diverting, earth, field lines, flaring, illustration, impact, impacting, magnetic field, magnetopause, magnetosphere, northern lights, planet, planetary science, protect, protecting, protection, protective, solar activity, solar flare, solar system, solar wind, southern lights, space, space weather, star, sun

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