Stunning Sunspot Image Captured By Solar Telescope

By Meera Dolasia on August 30, 2010

If you have ever wondered how the sunflower got its name, herein may lie the answer - This beautiful picture that so resembles the flower in full bloom, is actually an image of a sunspot - the most detailed one ever captured in visible light.

Taken by the ultra-sophisticated New Solar Telescope in Big Bear, California, the Sunspot is believed to be about 12,800 km in diameter, or slightly bigger than Earth, which measures in at 12,000 km. And that's not all - while the irregular pattern around the core, referred to as granulation may look tiny, it is actually quite big, with each little speck measuring about 1000km.

Sunspots are dark spots formed when the sun's magnetic fields gets tightly concentrated and rise up to the photosphere, the Sun's visible surface. While the core or black part of the spot is hot measuring over 3,600 degrees Celsius, it is the outer petal-like area that is hotter, coming in at over 5,800 degrees Celsius. The contrast between the two temperatures is the reason the core appears to be black - In reality, it is almost as bright as a full moon.

Besides being beautiful, Sunspots, which can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, are a key to studying Space weather, which in turn helps scientists understand the weather patterns of our planet.

Sources: exploratorium.edu, windows2universe.org,dailymail.co.uk

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65 Comments
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  • scarletSunday, March 4, 2012 at 9:14 am
    i am bored this not a good topic i like the glacier better no one should choose this unless you are a peep
    • David P.Monday, November 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm
      I learned alot about sunspots. At first I did not know anything about them but this article helped me understand what they are. I think this article was interesting too because I never knew a flower got its name from sunspot.That is so cool. I would recommend this article to a friend who likes to learn about the sun.
      • silverwarrior
        silverwarriorFriday, November 25, 2011 at 8:36 am
        hmmm. scary the sun has it's own mind it is waking up from its own ctivity who knows if other planeets (including earth) has its own mind
        • Anthony LinThursday, November 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm
          I liked to know about the sunspot but they were talking about how the sunflower got it's name not about the sunspot. I think they kind of went of topic about the sunflower thing and went on to sunspots.
          • Vincent WWednesday, November 16, 2011 at 9:44 am
            Why does the sun or earth have spots? Is it because of the equator or is it the crust turning into a volcano? how many spots do the earth or sun have, and how many dob they get each year?
            • Marta MWednesday, November 16, 2011 at 9:39 am
              I really enjoyed this article because I got to learn about sunspots, which I never learned about. I would recommend this article to a friend because they would get to learn something new about sunspots or might learn something new.
              • Katie T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm
                I think these pics are very interesting. The most interesting is the sun flower.
                • Agata M.$$$$$$$Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:34 am
                  This article was very interesting. It was really interesting because it talked about sunspots that form on the Sun. i would recommend this article to any one who wants to learn more about the sun.
                  • Nikola P.Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm
                    I love this article. It's all about sunspots that form on the Sun. The thing I really like about the Sun is that it is making our planet alive.I learned that sunspots last a few days to a few weeks.I hope that a solar flare won't damage the Earth. I would realy recommend this article because it is very educational.
                    • fredwardMonday, May 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm
                      kinda scared now D:

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