Did you know that Johannes Fabricius was born today in 1587? He was one of the first astronomers to discover sunspots. Sunspots are dark patches that temporarily appear on the Sun’s surface or photosphere. Scientists are still studying this phenomenon, but they have found that sunspots are areas where the surface temperatures of the Sun are cooler (and therefore not as ‘bright’). They vary in size from 10 – 100,000 miles in diameter. A sunspot can last a few days or a few months and seem to follow an 11-year cycle.
After so much snow, we hope you have a bright and sunny day today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
His name is sometimes listed as Johann Goldsmid.
Johannes Fabricius’ father was also an astronomer. He discovered the variable star, Mira Ceti.
Johannes Fabricius worked with his father as they observed sunspots through their telescope. Initially the observations were made directly!! Their writings describe the extreme irritations and danger of observing the sun with the naked eye. Later they used a ‘camera obscura’ technique; or projected an image of the sun through a pinhole.
Johannes Fabricius’s sunspot observations also helped to show that the sun rotated on an axis.
Johannes Fabricius’ sunspot observations and writings were forgotten for almost 100 years and rediscovered when some of his work was reprinted in 1723.
Sunspot temperatures register from 2700C – 4200C, which is cooler than the average surface temperature of 5500C.
Sunspots may be connected to magnetic flux tubes, and the movement and tangling of these tubes interferes with the movement of energy.
The sunspot phenomena also appear on other stars. They are called starspots.