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A solar flare is a thunderous explosion that occurs in the solar corona and chromosphere within the atmosphere of the Sun. The incredible energy level of a solar flare is equivalent to tens of millions of atomic bombs exploding at the same time! Solar flares were first known to be occurring in 1859. Solar flare activity can vary from several per day to only a few a month, depending mostly upon the overall activity of the Sun as a whole. Solar activity generally varies on an 11-year cycle. At the peak of this “solar cycle” there are typically more sunspots on the surface of the Sun, which ultimately leads to more frequently occurring solar flares.