Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I See Spots

There is an absolutely enormous sunspot group on the face of the sun. It is the largest grouping, both in numbers of spots, and surface area covered that I have ever seen in 24 years of looking at the sun. I could have missed larger groups in the past, of course. Sunspots are cooler areas on the surface of the sun, caused by huge magnetic fields which inhibit convection. It is a spectacular thing to see. In a few days, the sun's rotation will take these spots out of our view. Please click on this to see a larger image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The French romantic DeFontanelle thought that these Spots were really holes in the surface of the Sun, through which one could possibly glimpse the inhabitants inside, racing around wildly, driven mad by the heat! Ironically, though they swam in oceans of pure gold, they were unaware of their wealth, as they were, alas, blind!