Then there were two
June 13, 2012
A single sunspot (Sunspot 1093) on the Sun's surface divided itself and became two spots over a two-day period (Aug. 8 - 10, 2010). Using selections from the highest resolution images from the white light HMI instrument on SDO, we were able to see the process as it unfolded. Each of the spots is about the size of Earth. Sunspots are darker cooler regions of intense magnetism that pop up through the surface of the Sun. While this separation is not uncommon, we have never observed the division so clearly before.
Topics: Stars, Astronomy, Climate change, Solar cycle, Wilson effect, Vortices, Sunspot, Sun, Space plasmas, Plasma physics