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Invisible sunspots uncovered with Astrogrid

20th July 2008

A team of scientists led by Silvia Dalla, of the Centre for Astrophysics, have discovered that 44 percent of new sunspots forming in the West of the Sun are invisible to our best telescopes. They analysed nearly 7,000 sunspots that were observed over a 25 year period and found some areas of the Sun's disk are missing new sunspots compared to others.

Dr Silvia Dalla said: "This was very puzzling. It was even more surprising to find that similar observations had been reported 100 years ago by the British astronomer Annie Maunder, and had been forgotten since." Dr Dalla teaches on the University Certificate in Sun, Earth and Climate.

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