sunspots than in any month during the entire previous 11-year solar cycle -- and even dating back to 2002. The featured picture is a composite of images taken every day from January to June by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory. Showing a high abundance of sunspots, large individual spots can be tracked across the Sun's disk, left to right, over about two weeks. As a solar cycle continues, sunspots typically appear closer to the equator. Sunspots are just one way that our Sun displays surface activity -- another is flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that expel particles out into the Solar System. Since these particles can affect astronauts and electronics, tracking surface disturbances is of more than aesthetic value. Conversely, solar activity can have very high aesthetic value -- in the Earth's atmosphere when they trigger aurora.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Sun - sunspot
Publications with words: Sun - sunspot
- APOD: 2023 November 19 Á Space Station, Solar Prominences, Sun
- APOD: 2023 October 25 Á Gone in 60 Seconds: A Green Flash Sunset
- Circular Sun Halo
- APOD: 2023 August 1 Á Monster Solar Prominence
- APOD: 2023 June 11 Á The Sun and Its Missing Colors
- APOD: 2023 May 17 Á Sunspot with Light Bridge
- APOD: 2023 March 28 Á A Multiple Green Flash Sunset