Astronomy

How can sun - pots help to determine the period of rotation of the sun?

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August 19, 2008 7:29PM

Because sun spots appear to move across the surface due to the

sun's rotation. Observe the sun by projecting its image onto a

piece of paper through binoculars or a small telescope.

(Never look directly at the sun of course with or without

binoculars or telescope unless you want to immediately go

permanently blind!) Observe over a few weeks day by day and note

the time when a sun spot just appears at the edge of the sun. Track

this spot day by day and note the day when it reaches the other

side and disappears. It will therefore have appeared to travel over

half the sun's surface (the half we can see) because of the sun's

rotation. If you double this figure (to take into account the

apparent journey across the surface of the sun that we cannot see)

then this figure will be the time for the sun's rotation.


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