Supercomputer models are helping solar scientists develop a better understanding of sunspots. Sunspots are the visible manifestations of powerful magnetic fields. Magnetically active regions on the Sun around sunspots are the source of solar storms - solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These enormous explosions hurl radiation outward through the Solar System. When these events strike Earth, they can endanger astronauts, disrupt radio communications, and even damage our electrical power systems. They also produce fantastic celestial light shows - the Southern and Northern Lights.
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