Before they are gone (April 7, 2006)
Hi-res TIF image
These days are your last chance to watch a particularly nice group of sunspots. The gang with the poetic names AR 10865, 10866, 10867 and 10868 (AR stands for "active region") has been moving across the visible solar hemisphere over the last days and will soon rotate to the farside of the sun. The Sun does not rotate like a solid body, but experiences differential rotation: The regions close to the solar equator habe a rotation period of 25 days, while the regions close to the poles move more slowly and complete one rotation in around 35 days. The image above shows a so-called magnetogram taken with SOHO's MDI instrument, which is a graphic representation of the solar magnetic field strengths and polarities.
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.