Most Active Stories
- The San Francisco Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto
- Concealed carry gun instructor: There are extremists on both sides of gun debate
- Live in Alexandria! Fred Child, Host of Performance Today
- Aspen Ideas Festival 2015: Sen. Lindsey Graham on values worth fighting for.
- Health Matters: Pregnancy and post-delivery issues.
Cool Photo: A Black Spot, The Size Of Six Earths, Appears On The Sun
Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:42 pm
Over the course of two days in February, scientists watched something amazing happening on the surface of our sun: A giant black spot grew to over six Earths in diameter.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center released a picture of the sun, which shows the spots in deep black.
NASA explains that it's hard to know the full extent of the spots, because it's on a sphere "not a flat disk." NASA adds:
"The spot quickly evolved into what's called a delta region, in which the lighter areas around the sunspot, the penumbra, exhibit magnetic fields that point in the opposite direction of those fields in the center, dark area. This is a fairly unstable configuration that scientists know can lead to eruptions of radiation on the sun called solar flares."