The Sunspot Mystery (Documentary)
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By analysing sound waves travelling inside the Sun, a US team of scientists has produced the first detailed image of what goes on inside a sunspot.
The picture that emerges is of fast-moving streams of hot, electrically charged gas converging into a gigantic vortex that reaches below the solar surface.
Scientists have speculated about what lies beneath sunspots since the early 1600s, when astronomers first reported seeing mysterious, Earth-sized blotches on the face of our star.
Finally, we have some answers. "The significance of our study is that we are the first to observe the actual dynamics of sunspots just below the visible surface," said Alexander Kosovichev of Stanford`s Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory.