Nearly Spotless (June 9, 2006)
Our observations of the Sun in filtered white light this past week (June 2-9, 2006) revealed one medium-sized sunspot (named active region 892) that appeared as a dark area on the surface. Sunspots are the sites of intense magnetic fields emerging from the Sun's interior.
Sunspots appear darker than the rest of the surface because they are somewhat cooler, 4,000oC. versus 6,000o C. They can last from hours to months and rotate with the Sun. The magnetically active regions in which sunspots are found are often the sources of solar storms. Although it does not look very large compared to the Sun, that little sunspot is bigger than the size of Earth.
There is one other spot to the left of 892, which is smaller and less impressive in size but is giving indications it may produce more solar activity than its counterpart.
SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.
If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.