Researchers at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory and the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the first time have modeled the complete life cycle of solar flares.
The researchers used software that employs equations describing the behavior of plasma, the superheated material ejected from the sun as flares.
The model simulates solar activity from 6,000 miles under the sun's surface up to 25,000 miles into its corona.
NCAR's Matthias Rempel said previous simulations "modeled details very well but had to compromise when it comes to setting up the whole picture."
Said David Jess at Queens University Belfast in Ireland, "Models that can better predict not only how large a solar flare will be, but also when it will 'go off', can help researchers and engineers make better decisions when it comes to safeguarding our Earth's infrastructure."
From NBC News
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