Mapping Sunspots and Active Areas
Use the Java applet below to measure areas of sunspots in the white light
images, and x-ray active regions in each white light or x-ray image by "painting"
in the areas with the mouse. You'll be looking for the characteristic dark
spots of sunspot activity in the white light images. In the x-ray images,
you'll be looking for the areas of particularly intense, or bright, x-ray
Rememember, you are looking to discover
what relationship there might be between areas of sunspot activity and areas
of x-ray emission activity. By comparing the colored area in each type of
picture, and then looking at the graphs of those areas, you might be able
to make some guesses about what is going on.
We think you'll find that looking for a
line or simple curve on a plot is an easier way to see possible relationships
than trying to compare the two columns of numbers. Scientists love graphs,
because they are a way to look at complex data in a visual way.
What will you discover? Write down your
analysis of the data, and compare your conclusions with others.
To launch the Java applet please
click the button below. (You'll need
a java-compatible browser, we recommend Netscape
4.0 or higher)
Now that you have explored the patterns in the sun's activity in
a past solar maximum, you might be interested to know that another
solar maximum is predicted for the year 2000. You may be interested
in attempting to view sunspots for yourself. In case you missed
it, visit "Safely Viewing
Sunspots" in the history section.