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NASA Reports Fast-Growing Sunspot

February 21, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 7:14 AM

NASA's SDO sees fast-growing sunspots.Researchers at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) are reporting that they have witnessed a giant sunspot form on the sun in under 48 hours.

The sunspot appears to have grown to a size just over six Earth diameters across, and it has formed in a type of unstable configuration that scientists say could lead to eruptions of radiation on the sun known as solar flares.

The large picture below shows the black spots on the sun that appeared over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013. This image combines images from two instruments on NASA’s SDO: the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), which takes pictures in visible light that show sunspots, and the Advanced Imaging Assembly (AIA), which took an image in the 304 Angstrom wavelength showing the lower atmosphere of the sun, which is colorized in red. Picture courtesy of the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Goddard Flight Center view of sunspots.

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