The Sun’s poker face slipped up. During a massive solar flare we discovered that solar flares are caused by its own magnetism. Solar flares or long magnetic loops of hot solar plasma reach from the sun’s photosphere and high into the corona. The lower corona is responsible for magnetic reconnection and flaring activity. This discovery confirmed new theories about the elusive process. Captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft, the massive solar flare occurred on July 12, 2012 — less than a week after the publication of a new 3D model that suggested similar flares are driven by a process known as slipping reconnection, in which magnetic field lines disconnect and reconnect.