Correlating Sunspots to Active Regions

Correlating Sunspots to Active Regions Photo Credit: NASA


The sun has fascinated us for centuries and we have been trying to observe and understand it for just as long. Modern technology allows us to observe the sun in new ways, allowing us to increase how knowledge of how the sun works. Use the resources on this sheet to learn more about how technology helps us study the sun.


Go to Mapping Sunspots and Active Areas on the Sunspots site from the Exploratorium. Read this page of the activity to learn about the activity and what you are expected to do. You should use your Correlating Sunspots to Active Regions student sheet to help guide you through the activity and record your data.

To see some sample graphs for sunspot area vs. time and active region area vs. time, go to Science Education Gateway. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the Graphing Sheets section in the middle of the page.

Now go to Background Material: Research Activity to see some examples of values and plot. You will need to scroll down the page to get to that section. Note that the plot indicates a roughly linear correlation. Each point shows visible light sunspot area vs areas of intense X-ray activity. It has a consistent average slope, with about the same number of points falling above and below a central line. 

Don't be concerned if your data doesn't look like this graph. Every researcher's measurements will be a little different.

This esheet is a part of the Sunspots 2: Correlating Sunspots to Active Regions lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?

Esheet Details