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What Are Sunspots?

NASA scientists have spotted a massive cluster of dark patches on the sun, visible from 92 million miles away on Earth. These patches, known as sunspots, appear small from our perspective but can be as large as entire planets. They are much cooler than the surrounding areas of the sun, which makes them appear dark.

How Can I See Sunspots?

With eclipse glasses and good vision, you might be able to see the sunspots without magnification. However, it’s crucial never to look directly at the sun without proper solar filters, as this can cause permanent eye damage.

What Causes Sunspots?

Sunspots form in areas where the sun’s magnetic fields are particularly strong. These magnetic field lines often get tangled, leading to sudden explosions called solar flares. Solar flares release a torrent of radiation into space, which can impact Earth.

How Do Sunspots Affect Earth?

Space weather events caused by sunspots can disrupt power grids, telecommunications, and GPS systems. In rare cases, they can even cause power outages and radio signal jamming.

How Can I Protect Myself from Sunspots?

If you plan to try to see sunspots, wear reputable solar eclipse glasses. Without special protective eyeglasses, the light from the sun can damage the retinas in your eyes.