ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sunspot, observed on 25th May 1837 by the British astronomer John Herschel (1792-1871). This close-up shows the cooler central area (dark) and the the hotter (lighter) ring round the outside. Sunspots, first observed with telescopes in 1610, are areas of magnetic activity that are cooler than the rest of the Sun's surface. In size, they are larger than the Earth. Herschel made these observations during his time at the Cape Observatory, South Africa.
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