These massive explosions on the Sun have a specific name

This Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 photo provided by NASA shows the first notable solar flare of the year, as observed from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on Monday. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a NASA mission which has been observing the sun since 2010. (AP Photo/NASA)

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Simply put, a solar flare occurs when energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is released. This release of energy then creates a massive explosion.

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