Sunspots: More Than Meet the Eye

Sunspots: More Than Meet the Eye

Text Only or Table-Free Version


Discover various characteristics of the Sun using daily net-accessible images from the SOHO spacecraft. Different activities allow students to record the nature and behavior of sunspots, determine the rotation rate of the Sun by tracking sunspots, explore the sunspot cycle, determine whether sunspots are indeed features of the Sun, and predict the reoccurrence of sunspots as they move around the solar disk. Students also learn to make their own "pinhole" camera for observing the Sun.

Advanced students can examine the correspondence among various wavelength images and explore the nature of the Sun further.


 View today's Sun and take data.
Getting Started
Current Daily Images
 Do the sunspots move?

Sunspot races -- place your bets!

Do sunspots have a pattern, a cycle?

Are the sunspots really on the Sun?


Sunspots -- Test your Knowledge!

 How can you (safely) observe the Sun yourself?

What does the Sun look like in other wavelengths?


 Does the Sun Spin?
(An alternate sun rotation activity, developed by the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics, UC Berkeley)

Want to know more about the history of studing sunspots?

A wonderful overview of the life and work of Galileo Galilei

We should have a few more directly-related sites here, so they can go further.

For more information about the Sun and helioseismology in
general, see Stanford's
Wilcox Solar Observatory, [others?]

To explore solar images in visible, xray, hydrogen-a, and
calcium wavelengths, as well as find other information about solar
observing, see the
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Homepage

For historical solar data, explore
NOAA archives.


For more information about the Center, email

Author: Deborah Scherrer

Last revised: February 10, 1997 by DKS
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