The detection of these auroras on the Sun, according to Yu, could change our understanding of the magnetic processes of stars. Auroras on Earth happen when energized solar particles speed through the atmosphere of our planet in regions close to its poles. These areas have the weakest magnetic field protection, allowing the particles to pass through and excite nitrogen and oxygen molecules, resulting in the dancing sheets of color in the sky known in the northern hemisphere as the Northern Lights or aurora borealis.
Normally on the sun, debris is ejected from the solar surface by twisting magnetic fields near sunspots that tie themselves in knots before breaking. This releases energy that throws out explosions of radiation known as solar flares and coronal mass ejections—or CMEs—which are bursts of solar material. Scientists believe these solar flares accelerated electrons across the magnetic field lines of the sunspot, resulting in the emission of radio waves similar to an aurora.