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Last Post 3/27/2017 11:01 AM by  Terry Kucera
Solar Measurements
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3/27/2017 10:37 AM
    How do you measure how many Earth days it takes for the sun to rotate 360 degrees?
    Tags: rotation

    Terry Kucera

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/27/2017 11:01 AM
    We do it by tracking individual features as they move around the sun. It is pretty straight forward to get the general idea that the sun rotates. You can see it in the sunspot drawings Galileo did of the Sun (see - you can measure the rotation speed yourself!).

    It is tricky, though, because features near the equator rotate a bit faster that features near the poles and some sorts of features, like sunspots, move a little faster than other kinds, like coronal holes. It takes a lot of careful data analysis to see those smaller effects. This clearly shows that the outer layers of the Sun don't rotate as a solid (like the Earth's surface), but are fluid (like Earth's atmosphere).

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