Sun Basics

Solar flares, the main objects of RHESSI's study, are one of the many dynamic and enigmatic structures observed in and on the Sun. Solar scientists have a basic idea of how the Sun works, but the details are still being worked out. For example it is not known exactly how solar flares are created, although there are some strong hypotheses about this. Before studying the particulars of solar flares, it's important to know the basics of the Sun. The following links will provide you with background in solar science.

General Information


While the RHESSI mission is not studying sunspots, there is a relationship between sunspot regions and solar flares.  Sunspots are the most easily observed solar feature, and a useful subject for classroom study.  If you become enthusiastic about sunspot observation, join our SunspotNet collaborative online activity.

Solar Flares

Magnetism and the Sun

The energy for solar flares and other energetic events on and in the Sun comes from the Sun's magnetic field.  Follow these links to learn more about this subject.