PerspectiveSolar Physics

Can we predict solar flares?

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Science  31 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6503, pp. 504-505
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb6150

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Summary

Flares from the Sun are the strongest explosions in our Solar System. They can cause severe space weather disturbances, posing a hazard to astronauts and technological systems in space and on the ground. Solar flares have an immediate impact in the form of enhanced radiation and energetic particles in as little as 8 min after the start of the event. Reliable prediction methods for flares are needed to provide longer warning times. However, pinning down the flare onset conditions is necessary for reliable predictions and is still a struggle (1). On page 587 of this issue, Kusano et al. (2) introduce a method to predict and successfully test for large imminent flares.

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