Sunspots

By: Ben LaVigne

What sunspots are.

Sunspots are circular features on the sun's surface. Sunspots appear dark on the sun's surface because they are cooler that the sun. They form when dense bundles of magnetic field lines from solar interior break through the sun's surface.

About sunspots

Sunspots always form in pairs. The pairs have opposite magnetic polarity. The pairs orientation is in east-west direction. There are small sunspots called pores. The spots are 7000F and the surroundings are about 11000F. There diameter is 20000 miles. The center of sunspots are called an umbra. Each spot can last for months. But the sunspot cycle can last up to 11 years. Edges of the spots create light. A sunspots magnetic field has a strength 3000 times more than a average magnetic field.

Sunspot cycle

The next sunspot polarities will reverse. At the start of a cycle the spots form in belts. They form at 30 degrees north and south of the equator. As the cycle goes on new spots will always be forming. All the new spots will form closer to the equator each time.