HomeAstronomySunspots: What are they, and why do they occur?

Sunspots: What are they, and why do they occur?

Sunspots are dark, planet-size regions of strong magnetic fields on the surface of the sun. They can spawn eruptive disturbances such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). 

These regions of the sun appear darker because they are cooler than their surroundings. The central dark region, the umbra, is about 6,300 degrees Fahrenheit (3,500 degrees Celsius), whereas the surrounding photosphere is about 10,000 F (5,500 C), according to the National Weather Service (NWS). 

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