Sunspots Sunspots are these interesing, temporary, somewhat mysterious dark spots on the photosphere (“surface”) of the Sun. They are cooler than the surrounding photosphere and seem to be caused my the Sun’s magnetic fields. They occur in a cycle which is what we’re going to examine in this lab. 2 points for each question 10 points for the graph for 32 total. On the last page of this exercise there is a blank graph and a data set on sunspots. Create a graph as directed below and answer the following questions. 1) Graph the data on the last page of this exerccise by placing points for the number of sunspots for each year then connect your points with a smooth curve. Include this graph with your answer sheet 2) How long does a cycle of sunspots last? (from one peak to the next peak) ___________ 3) What trend do you notice in the peak number of sunspots? ___________ 4) Some people like to claim that global climate change isn’t being driven by human emissions of Carbon Dioxide, but rather by an increase in the brightness of the sun which is correlated with sun spots. When the sun gets brighter there are more sunspots. Looking at the temperature trend since 1990 on the graph on the next page and your graph, does the Earth’s rising temperature seem to be due to the sun? SOHO is an orbiting telescopethat studies that sun. Go to the SOHO web page here and answer the following questions. 5) Copy and paste the current image of the sun onto your answer sheet. 6) Just looking with your naked eye at the picture, how many sunspots do you see? 7) Does this number seemto agree, more or less with what you would precict with your graph? (More or less, rememer your graph is per year, you’re looking at one day and one side of the Sun) Finally looking back at your graph 8) What year do you plan on graduating from SPC? According to your graph how many sunspots on average would you expect that year? 9) How many sunspots per month on average would you predict in 2026? Let’s look at another prediction. Go here Scroll down to where is says Solar cycle and look at the graph of Sunspot Number Progression. 10) Do

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