Sunspots are planet-sized regions on the sun’s surface that have increased magnetic shields and often appear dark or black on the surface of our star. These spots are often the originating point of coronal mass ejections or solar flares, which unleash solar energy into space. Amateur astrophotographer Senol Sanli captured one such spot in stunning time-lapse.
The time-lapse was captured by Senol Sanli between December 2 and December 27, 2022. The video follows an evolving cluster of sunspots known as A3176 and A3153, the former is located in the sun’s northern hemisphere, while the latter resides in the sun’s southern regions. Sanli used digital filters to remove other sunspots from the video in order to focus on them during the time-lapse.
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He then shared the time-lapse on his Instagram. The time-lapse is especially interesting because it allows viewers to track the evolution of these two sunspot groups accurately. In December of 2022, astronomers detected more than 113 active sunspots, some of which unleashed dangerous solar flares toward Earth during that time, causing dangerous solar storms on our planet. As the sun rises during the solar cycle, we will see more sunspots on our sun’s surface. Many of them explode in solar flares. Suppose you’re interested in learning more about the evolutionary process that sunspots go through or geek out for anything like this. In that case, I highly recommend checking out the sunspot time-lapse yourself.
Astrophotographers like Sanli continue to deliver breathtaking visuals of our solar system’s various planets. Others have taken us beyond the solar system and shown us stars in other parts of the universe. As we continue into the year, we will likely see more active sunspots like these groups appearing all across the sun.
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