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September 14, 2009

Sunspots Revealed

Sunspots have fascinated sky gazers through the ages. Now state-of-the art telescopes combined with the muscle of a supercomputer called “Bluefire” are allowing scientists to accurately model these mysterious structures, and unlock their secrets. Michael Knoelker and Matthias Rempel are solar scientists working at the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, known as NCAR, in Boulder, Colorado. With support from the National Science Foundation, their study of sunspots is critical to our understanding of how stars, like the sun, produce magnetic fields - still one of the big unanswered questions in stellar astrophysics.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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