What actually happens during a solar storm? How do sunspots, flares, and coronal mass ejections relate to one another? And what's the real effect the sun's violent surface can have on us, here on Earth?

I spoke to Phil Plait, "The Bad Astronomer," seeking answers. Watch the video above and click the link below to learn more. And don't forget to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!

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  • Amazing Images Of The 2012 Solar Storm

    This Jan. 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere at 03:49 UT, just 4 days after a previous strong CME that sparked aurora around the world on the 22nd. A very fast coronal mass ejection (CME) traveling four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour, is headed towards the Earth. A rush of radiation in the form of solar protons already has begun bombarding the Earth and is likely to continue through Wednesday. The radiation storm is the largest of its kind since 2005 but still ranks only a three on the scale of one to five, enough to be considered "strong" but not "severe". Credit: NASA / Getty Images

  • Amazing Images Of The 2012 Solar Storm

    This colorized NASA image, taken Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows a flare shooting out of the top of the sun. It was taken in a special teal wavelength to best see the flare. Credit: NASA / AP

  • Amazing Images Of The 2012 Solar Storm

    This Jan. 19, 2012 image provided by NASA shows an M3.2 solar flare captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). An earth-directed coronal mass ejection was associated with the solar flare. NASA's Space Weather Services estimated that it traveled at over 630 miles per second and reached the Earth on Jan. 21, when strong geomagnetic storms and aurora were observed. Credit: NASA / Getty Images

  • Amazing Images Of The 2012 Solar Storm

    This Jan. 23, 2012 NASA Solar and Heliosphere Observatory (SOHO) image shows a current view of sunspots 1402(R-TOP) and 1402(R). Early Monday at appoximately 0359 GMT, sunspot 1402 unleashed a long duration M-classs solar flare. Credit: NASA / Getty Images