23 July 2024 - Mission Day: 10462 - DOY: 205
Pick of The Week

Cell division? (March 25, 2004)

Hi-res TIF image (2.7M)

MPEG: Large (707K), Small (130K)
Quicktime: Large (7.9M), Small (266K)

In what almost looks like a classic process of biological cell division, a single sunspot split itself in two over a 36-hour period, March 11-12, 2004. The single originating spot was several times the size of Earth. The longer movie clip shows the gradual growth and division of the area over nine days. It is completely normal to see sunspots change shape and size over a period of days or even hours, but the emergence of two distinct spots out of one spot is quite an uncommon observation.

Sunspots are the visible tracers of magnetically active regions with typical north and south polarity. Because they are somewhat cooler (4,000 C) than the rest of the Sun's surface (6,000 C), they appear darker.

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Previous Picks of the Week

SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.


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Last modification: July 27, 2020

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