Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Watching the birth of a sunspot

Date:
April 18, 2011
Source:
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
Summary:
Researchers have monitored the birth of a sunspot over a period of eight hours using observations from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

SDO magnetic (top) and visible light (bottom) observations from SDO’s Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) of an emerging active region on May 30 2010: (left) start of the emergence at 17:00 UT. On the magnetogram, the white is positive and the black is negative polarity; (middle) formation of a pore in the negative polarity at 22:00 UT. And (right) the active region on June 1 2010 at 18:00 UT.
Credit: Image courtesy of Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have monitored the birth of a sunspot over a period of eight hours using observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Dr Stephane Regnier presented the results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno on April 18.

Related Articles


The emerging sunspot was first detectable at 17:00 UT on 30th May 2010 in SDO magnetograms, which map the magnetic intensity of the solar disc. The first signs were small patches of strong positive and negative magnetic field, separated by around 7 000 km.

"About 5 hours after the first signs of the eruption, the magnetic disturbance had grown to around 20 000 km across and we could see a pore form in the visible wavelength images next to the negative polarity." said Regnier. "By 18:00 UT on June 1st, the sunspots had appeared."

The photosphere is the visible surface of the Sun. Convection cells of hot, bright gas rising up to the surface are surrounded by sinking, cool, darker material, giving the photosphere a granular appearance. These granules are grouped into supergranules, which can be more than 20 000 kilometres across.

"The peculiarity of what we are seeing is that the pore emerges at the edge of a supergranular cell Models have predicted that we would see this at the cell centre where the upflows are more significant," said Regnier.

The SDO observations allow Regnier to study temperature measurements ranging from 50000 to 10 million degrees Celsius on an almost second by second basis.

"In all temperature ranges, we can see the emerging area as a magnetic tube that is very hot at the edges and sharply delineated from the surrounding material. How sunspots are born, evolve and die is still a concern for solar physicists and one of the most intriguing subjects is to understand how these magnetic tubes can emerge from below the Sun's surface and push through into the hot atmosphere," said Regnier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). "Watching the birth of a sunspot." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418084013.htm>.
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). (2011, April 18). Watching the birth of a sunspot. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418084013.htm
Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). "Watching the birth of a sunspot." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418084013.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins