A dazzling new animation captures the life cycle of a solar flare in 3D, using vivid colours to represent the varying temperatures in the fiery eruption.
The intriguing animated snapshot shows the flare from formation to finale, with dancing, illuminated tendrils of magnetic field lines that surge and then finally subside in a brilliant burst of explosive energy.
But the gorgeous animation isn’t just eye candy. It’s drawn from a model that lays important groundwork for predicting flares generated by solar weather. Long term, scientists could produce accurate animations in real time, researchers reported in a new study.