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how fast does the Sun spin?

 

Galileo was the first to discover how fast the Sun spins by studying the movement of sunspots. The Sun spins? You bet! Even more amazing, some parts of the Sun spin faster than others.

 

If you were to measure very carefully every day the position of sunspots at different latitudes, you would notice that the sunspots nearest the equator are moving the fastest.

 

Can you work out the rotation time of the Sun from these pictures?

 

Suns Rotation

Did you know? - The Sun is not solid but consists of plasma and gas, when it spins the equator can spin faster than the poles

 

Did you know? - It takes 27 Earth days for the Sun's equator to turn once round. Near the north and south poles it takes longer, nearly 35 Earth days!

 

Image of one of Galileos drawings

[Movie file 1mb or less - Low quality]

Here is a movie made from Galileo's drawings.

   

 

 

   
 
 

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