Features on the Photospher1

Features on the Photospher1 - between the components...

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Features on the Photosphere Animation begins with sunspots at different latitudes lined up. The sequence ends after one rotation of the equator---the sunspots near the poles have not appeared yet---and the animation starts over. Hundreds of years of observing the sunspots on the Sun shows that the number of sunspots varies in a cycle with an average period of 11 years. At the start of a sunspot cycle the number of sunspots is at a minimum and most of them are at around 35° from the solar equator. At solar maximum when the sunspot number peaks about 5.5 years later, most of the sunspots are within just 5° of the solar equator. Sunspots are regions of strong magnetic fields. This affects the spectral lines in the sunspot spectra. Each absorption lines will split up into multiple components. The amount of separation
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Unformatted text preview: between the components measures the strength of the magnetic field. The magnetic field is somehow responsible for the sunspot cycle. In one 11-year cycle the leading sunspot in a sunspot group will have a north magnetic pole while the trailing sunspot in the group will have a south magnetic pole. In the next 11-year cycle the poles will switch so the total cycle is 22 years long. Sunspots form where twisted magnetic field lines rise out of the photosphere and then loop back down into the photosphere and deeper layers. The magnetic field lines suppress the convection at those points on the photosphere so energy has a harder time leaking out at those points on the photosphere---they are cooler than the rest of the photosphere....
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