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Why are sunspots black? | Live Science


The sun is a great ball of fiery, electrically charged gas. As the sun advances through its regular 11-year solar cycle, electromagnetic activity on the star’s surface gets more and more chaotic. This turbulence inevitably leads to the appearance of sunspots — dark, planet-size regions that form in the sun’s lower atmosphere as a result of intense magnetic disturbances.

To most visible-light telescopes, sunspots appear black. But why do they look this way, and are they really black?



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