Sunspot Races -- Place Your Bets!
If you haven't already done so, you will need to collect data
and determine, or at least estimate, the Sun's rotation rate.
If you want to start your Sunspot Races right away, pick up your
solar data for the last 2 weeks or so, rather than collecting
data from today forward. The pictures are archived, or kept online, for
several months. You can access previous images easily by
going to the SOHO images page for today's date and
hitting the "PREVIOUS" key for each day in the past you want.
The intensitygram images are much better for this
activity than the magnetogram images. (Why?)
Get Solar Data
After you've looked at your images,
you should be able to predict when sunspot groups or active regions
behind the Sun's limb and, perhaps, eventually reappear from around the
back side of the Sun.
||Looking at your data sheets, pick a particular sunspot group
or active region which is soon destined to go around the Sun's
right limb. Can you guess when that group will disappear around
the limb? Do you think it will reappear again on the left limb,
after it has crossed the backside of the disk?
Have your friends pick groups from their data sheets and do the same
|| Now, continue to check the daily solar images until you see
your spot groups disappear or reappear. Who came closest to
|| If a region or group failed to reappear from the back
side of the Sun, what do you think happened to it?
Can you predict how long different active regions will last?
If you have been using the SOI magnetogram images, you might
have noticed that the active fields tend to dissipate, or
disappear, before they have a chance to travel all around the Sun.
Sunspots, which tend to last longer than magnetogram active regions,
show up in white (or visible) light and other views of the Sun.
Can you explore the various current images of the Sun, showing the
Sun in different wavelengths of light, and find one that highlights
the sunspots better?
Here's a list of places with other images.
Why do you think sunspots show up in some types of images but not others?