The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review

, Volume 11, Issue 2–3, pp 153–286 | Cite as

Sunspots: An overview

  • Sami K. Solanki


Sunspots are the most readily visible manifestations of solar magnetic field concentrations and of their interaction with the Sun's plasma. Although sunspots have been extensively studied for almost 400 years and their magnetic nature has been known since 1908, our understanding of a number of their basic properties is still evolving, with the last decades producing considerable advances. In the present review I outline our current empirical knowledge and physical understanding of these fascinating structures. I concentrate on the internal structure of sunspots, in particular their magnetic and thermal properties and on some of their dynamical aspects.

Key words: Sunspots – Sun: magnetic field – Sun: active regions – Sun: activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami K. Solanki
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany (e-mail: DE

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