The Clearest Image of a Sunspot Ever Taken, Courtesy of the Big Bear Solar Observatory

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The magnetic field things that go on in Sunspots are what really get me. Of course the Sun has a strong magnetic field, but inside a Sunspot the numbers are just off-the chart high. For example:

Earth’s magnetic field: ~310-580 mG depending on where you are
Quiet Sun (no sunspot): ~2-6 G (depends what you read, but all on that scale)
Sunspot: ~1.5 KG.

Just crazy strength, and the field lines are crazy. If you are interested, I can send you some awesome, layman’s terms information (I do a lot of outreach about space weather and have tons of materials online and such).

And we don’t even understand what causes them…we know their properties when they are there, but not what makes the happen in the first place (aside from being park of the solar cycle). Same with CMEs and flares, and other solar phenomena. We have a pretty good understanding (on SOME things) about their properties *when they exist* but not what causes them.

It is absolutely fascinating.

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