What are Sunspots?

Sunspots are dark, planet-size regions of strong magnetic fields on the surface of the sun.

They can spawn eruptive disturbances such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

These regions of the sun appear darker because they are cooler than their surroundings.

The central dark region, the umbra, is about 6,300 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the surrounding photosphere is about 10,000 F,  according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The frequency and intensity of sunspots visible on the surface indicate the level of solar activity during the 11-year solar cycle that is driven by the sun's magnetic field.

Sunspots are our window into the sun's complicated magnetic interior, and they have fascinated solar observers for hundreds of years.

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