Understanding sunspots
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Understanding Sunspots - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Understanding Sunspots. What is a Sunspot?. The Sun’s Visible Surface. The Lower Atmosphere. The Sun in Hydrogen- a. The Upper Atmosphere. A Typical Sunspot in “White Light”. Sunspot Detail. Sunspot Model. Objects that are hotter are brighter. Which bulb is hotter? Which

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The sun s visible surface
The Sun’s Visible Surface

The Lower Atmosphere

The sun in hydrogen a
The Sun in Hydrogen-a

The Upper Atmosphere

A typical sunspot in white light
A Typical Sunspot in “White Light”

Sunspot model
Sunspot Model

Objects that are hotter are brighter. Which bulb is hotter? Which

is hotter, the sun’s surface or a sunspot? How do you know?

So sunspots are way cool
So, sunspots are way cool!

But, what causes sunspots?

Magnetic winding
Magnetic Winding field

The sun rotates faster at its equator than at its poles. The sun’s

strong magnetic field gets wound up causing part of the fields to rupture the surface where they cause sunspots.

Magnetic fields make cool zones
Magnetic fields make cool zones. field

Fast-moving charged particles are deflected by magnetic fields.

The magnetic fields of sunspots deflect hotter gases allowing

only cooler gases that experience less of this deflective force.

Coronal mass ejections
coronal mass ejections!!! field

These cause

the auroras

that we see

on Earth.

Why do we have sunspots
Why do we have sunspots? field

What does

magnetism have

to do with


Why do we have a sunspot cycle?