Solar flares are energetic events taking place in the Sun’s atmosphere, and their effects can greatly impact the environment of the surrounding planets. In particular, eruptive flares, as opposed to confined flares, launch coronal mass ejections into the interplanetary medium, and as such, are one of the main drivers of space weather. After briefly reviewing the main characteristics of solar flares, we summarise the processes that can account for the build-up and release of energy during their evolution. In particular, we focus on the development of recent 3D numerical simulations that explain many of the observed flare features. These simulations can also provide predictions of the dynamical evolution of coronal and photospheric magnetic field. Here we present a few observational examples that, together with numerical modelling, point to the underlying physical mechanisms of the eruptions.
- Coronal mass ejections
- Flares, dynamics
- Flares, relation to magnetic field
- Magnetic fields, models