Sunspot Sequence AR2781 in 8 days

December 21, 2020

#01 (3)

Photographer: Paolo Bardelli 
Summary Author: Paolo Bardelli 

Sunspots appear as small dark areas on the surface of our Star. They’re linked to its intense magnetic field. Occurring in cycles of about 11 years (referred to as the solar cycle), their presence gives us an indication of the Sun activity. Sunspot temperatures are lower (cooler) than the Sun's surface (photosphere).

After a few years of very low solar activity, in a phase of a deep minimum between one cycle and another, a large group of spots called AR2781 recently appeared. Because of a spell of unusually fine weather, I was able to photograph this grouping for 8 days in a row. From the montage of images, the evolution and decay of this group (the largest spot could contain our Planet) can be easily followed. Also of note is the solar rotation, which curiously isn’t constant but varies from 25 days at the poles to 35 at the equator. Images taken at Albusciago, Italy, from November 5 - November 12, 2020.

Photo Details: Images obtained with a Canon 6D camera mounted on a 203 mm. Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (f/10), equipped with an Astrosolar solar filter on the lens; processing with Photoshop and CC.