Just last weekend, NASA’s Solar
Just last weekend, NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) caught sight of a gigantic dark blemish marring the surface of the Sun. This blemish, called a “sun spot,” is the largest seen in this current solar cycle, covering a surface area that could swallow 10 Earth’s whole. (Photo : NASA/SDO)
The new sunspot in question is nearly 80,0000 miles across, according to NASA. Massive sunspots like these are so large that they can be noticed by the naked eye, and were even regularly recorded by ancient Chinese astronomers by 28 BC.
This way, we know that this is not the largest sunspot ever seen. While ancient records do not indicate size with accuracy, the largest sunspot on modern
Still, the current sunspot, labeled AR 12192, is the largest seen since before 2008, when the current solar cycle – the periodic change in the Sun’s activity and appearance – began.
Doug Biesecker, a researcher at the National Weather Service
The Washington Post that he’s certain that “this is the largest sunspot group since November of 1990” as well.
So just what is a sunspot anyways? Experts
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