Stunning Sunspot Image Captured By Solar Telescope

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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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68 Comments
  • Agata M.$$$$$$$almost 11 years
    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.almost 11 years
      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.
      • fredwardover 11 years
        kinda scared now D:
        • hitideover 11 years
          i never knew that. that was cooooooollllllllll!!!!!!!!!!
          • ccswedeover 11 years
            wiered but so AWSOME!!!
            • Janinah,,,over 11 years
              Cool!!!!
              • grace1999octoberalmost 12 years
                that is soooooooooooooo cool!
                • Student 1almost 12 years
                  That is so cool!
                  • j cupalmost 12 years
                    ths is rad dude
                    • crystalalmost 12 years
                      tht was oober awesome!!!!!!!!!! :) <333333