IRIS Movie of the Day
At least once a week a movie of the Sun taken by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) is posted by one of the scientists operating the instrument.
Credit: IRIS, LMSAL/NASA, Don Schmit
Sunspots are magnetic features on the Sun. The magnetic field in so strong in sunspots that it prevents convection from bringing warm gas up from the inside the Sun to the visible surface. This makes sunspots appear dark because they are cooler. Convection is the same process that creates clouds and thunderstorms on the Earth. In this movie, convection is visible in the rapidly evolving circular or hexagonal patterns surround the sunspots.