Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Starspots - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
Astronomers used a computer and data about the star AB Doradus to make this picture. This is what the star might look like. Can you see some starspots on AB Doradus?
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy A. Cameron, M. Jardine and K. Wood, University of St Andrews.

Starspots

Did you know that the Sun has spots? They are called sunspots. Other stars have spots too. They are called starspots.

Both sunspots and starspots are cool spots (well, colder than the bright areas around them). They are also darker than the areas around them. Can you pick out any starspots on the star in the picture?

Astronomers have found starspots on stars like AB Doradus and EK Draconis. If you could name a star, what would you name it?

Some of the starspots that astronomers have found are HUGE! They are 10,000 times bigger than the largest sunspots seen on the Sun.

Last modified September 6, 2005 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Sunspots

Sunspots are dark spots on the Sun. They may look small, but they are actually as big as a planet like Earth or Mars! Sunspots are "dark" because they are colder than the areas around them. Of course,...more

Starspots

Did you know that the Sun has spots? They are called sunspots. Other stars have spots too. They are called starspots. Both sunspots and starspots are cool spots (well, colder than the bright areas around...more

Magnitude - a measure of brightness

Astronomers use a special term to talk about the brightness of stars. The term is "magnitude". The magnitude scale was invented by the ancient Greeks around 150 B.C. The Greeks put the stars they could...more

Northern Circumpolar Constellations

Because of the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun, we divide the stars and constellations into two groups. Some stars and constellations never rise nor set, and they are called circumpolar....more

Gamma Ray Bursts - The Most Powerful Objects in the Universe?

Satellites in the 1960's looked for a type of light called Gamma Rays. They found bursts of Gamma Rays coming from outer space! They can't hurt you. They are stopped by the Earth's atmosphere. We have...more

Galaxies - Star Cities

When we look up at the night sky, we notice that there are many stars in our sky. Stars must like to live together in star cities - galaxies. Our city of stars is called the Milky Way, and it is home to...more

Neutron Stars

Neutron Stars form when really big stars die. When such a star runs out of fuel its center begins to collapse under gravity. When the center collapses the entire star collapses. The surface of the star...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF