Breaking up is EASY to do (September 7, 2006)
Hi-res TIF image(4.1M)
In the human world, break ups are certainly not easy; for sunspots, it is something that happens all the time. Witness the rather swift demise of Sunspot 905. In just a week, the sunspot went from a fair- to middling-sized sunspot to not much more than just a few sprinkles of tiny spots. Fairly stable up until August 25, its magnetic intensity began to dissipate steadily over the ensuing time span through August 31, when it was about gone.
Sunspots can last for months and some last only a few hours. Most last days to weeks. But eventually, magnetic forces that created them begin to fade away and a given spot will disappear over time. For a few days, the sun had almost no spots, but another medium-sized spot rotated into view on September 5. We'll be keeping our eyes on that one.
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