Why do sunspots appear dark?

Sunspots and Solar Activity Read more from
Chapter Weather in Space

Sunspots are a slightly cooler temperature (about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit [1,100 degrees Celsius] cooler) than their surrounding photospheric gas, and so in the bright back-lighting, sunspots appear dark. Do not be fooled, though; a sunspot is still many thousands of degrees, and the amount of electromagnetic energy that courses through sunspots is tremendous.


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