The Sun A Solar Flare is a rapid release of energy from a localized region on the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation, energetic particles, and mass motions. The size of a solar flare varies. One flare can be the size of a sunspot or the size of a whole sunspot group. It usually has a temperature similar to that of the sun\'s photosphere. The amount of time it takes for a flare to last varies directly with its size. The smaller flares last for approximately ten minutes. Larger flares can last up to one full hour. The energy released during a flare is normally equivalent to 1027 ergs per second. Large flares can release up to 1023 ergs of energy, which is 10 million times greater than the energy released from a volcanic explosion. The amount of energy released is equivalent to millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time. It is caused by the release of magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere. Once released radiation is emitted across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Transferring from radio waves to x-rays and then gamma rays. As the magnetic energy is being released electrons, protons and heavy nuclei is heated and sent off into the solar atmosphere. Furthermore, the predictability of flares coincides with the Sun’s eleven-year cycle. It is observed for a solar flare to occur when the Sun approaches it’s maximum part of its cycle. When the solar cycle is at a minimum active solar flares are rarely detected.
Sun Spots are dark spots that move across the surface of the sun, contracting and expanding as they go. They are often big enough to be seen with the naked eye. Some are as large as 50,000 miles in diameter. A sunspot only lasts a week or two. After several weeks, the sunspot "breaks" into pieces and fades away. Sunspots are cause by regions of very strong magnetic fields where the field lines get so crowded together that they push up through the surface, bringing some of the hot plasma with them in an arc or loop. The end of the loop is what is spotted on a sun’s visible surface causing the effect of a sunspot. It is said that trying to predict sunspots is like trying to predict the weather. Yet, further researcher states, that when studying the sun\'s magnetic field, modern astronomers have discovered that the cycle covers twenty-two years, with each eleven-year cycle of sunspots followed by a reversal of the direction of the Sun\'s magnetic field. The number of sunspots on the Sun is always changing. On some days as many as 200 sunspots are visible or others as few as zero. Sunspots mean to us on earth the manifestation of solar activity. Sunspots show signs of “space weather” which has impacts on technological environment such as satellites and power transmission. The changing of the sun in accordance with climate can be related through the roots of solar activity as well.


Solar Wind is streams of gas particles flowing out from the Sun. It is cause by it’s source (the sun’s hot corona). The temperature of the corona is so high that the Sun\'s gravity cannot hold on to it. The solar wind is not uniform. Although it is always directed away from the Sun, it changes speed and carries with it magnetic clouds, interacting regions where high speed wind catches up with slow speed wind, and composition variations. The solar wind speed is high (800 km/s) over coronal holes and low (300 km/s) over streamers. These wind speed variations affects the Earth\'s magnetic field and can produce storms in the Earth\'s magnetosphere.

Work Sited Page
http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/solar/flares.html


http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/Qspotnumsize.html


http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wsolwind.html


http://home.earthlink.net/fradella/green.htm