Sun 

SDO Observes Fast-Growing Sunspot

As magnetic fields on the sun rearrange and realign, dark spots known as sunspots can appear on its surface. Over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013, scientists watched a giant sunspot form in under 48 hours. It has grown to over six Earth diameters across but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere not a flat disk.

The spot quickly evolved into what's called a delta region, in which the lighter areas around the sunspot, the penumbra, exhibit magnetic fields that point in the opposite direction of those fields in the center, dark area. This is a fairly unstable configuration that scientists know can lead to eruptions of radiation on the sun called solar flares.


For More Information

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/fastgrowing-sunspot.html


Credits

Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer
Karen Fox (ASI): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11211

Mission:
SDO

Data Used:
SDO/HMI/Magnetogram
SDO/AIA/304 Filter
SDO/AIA/171 Filter
SDO/HMI/Continuum
SDO

This item is part of this series:
Heliophysics Breaking News

Goddard TV Tape:
G2013-021 -- 2013 Heliophysics Breaking News

Keywords:
SVS >> Solar Ultraviolet
SVS >> Sun
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Sun-earth Interactions
SVS >> Space Weather
SVS >> SDO
SVS >> Solar Dynamics Observatory
SVS >> Heliophysics
SVS >> Corona
SVS >> Sunspot
NASA Science >> Sun

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0