Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the Sun that appear as dark spots on the sun’s surface, compared to the surrounding regions, caused by magnetic activity. As the sun was rising yesterday while we were taking our dog Abroozi for a walk, we noticed a very large black sunspot. I had to do a double take as I thought it was a black spec on my glasses. Using a solar filter, my husband photographed the sun connecting the Nikon D40 DSLR camera to the eyepiece of the Konus 130mm telescope. Here are the fantastic results of photographing the sun.
On the top left hand corner is the sun with visible sunspots. In the middle of the picture is a close up of the sunspots and on the bottom left is the sun spot magnified.
What we didn’t know when we took this on March 6th was that there was a major solar storm happening on the sun. The strong magnetic fields in the outer atmosphere of the sun can get closed in around the sunspots. This can cause violent eruptions of gas bubbles and magnetic fields which are called Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs. In essence this streams out of the sun causing solar flares and the storm.
Fantastic that he captured this phenomena – the largest storm in over 5 years.