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SUNSPOT CYCLE

Sunspot cycle: 

  • The amount of magnetic flux that rises up to the Sun’s surface varies with time in a cycle called the solar cycle. This cycle lasts 11 years on average. This cycle is sometimes referred to as the sunspot cycle. 
  • Near the minimum of the solar cycle, it is rare to see sunspots on the Sun, and the spots that do appear are very small and short-lived. During “solar maximum”, there will be sunspots visible on the Sun almost all the time, and some of those spots will be very large and last several weeks. 
Sunspot cycle UPSC Legacy IAS Academy

Sunspots: 

  • Sunspots are regions where the solar magnetic field is very strong. 
  • In visible light, sunspots appear darker than their surroundings because they are a few thousand degrees cooler than their surroundings. 
  • Sunspots do not appear everywhere on the Sun. They are usually concentrated in two bands, about 15 – 20 degrees wide in latitude, that go around the Sun on either side of the solar equator. 
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