University of Colorado at Boulder University of Colorado CU Home Search A to Z Index Map

Sunspots close-up

Sunspots close-up

Seen in a close-up, sunspots have a distinctive appearance as seen in this solar telescope photo; the surrounding surface contains small, irregular bright areas called granules which are the upwelled part of numerous local convection currents that carry hot hydrogen gas to the photosphere (dark areas represent the inward return paths of this circulating gas).

Image and text courtesy of NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center. Image was produced by the Swedish Solar Telescope. Credit: SST/Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.