It's not surprising that sunspots were observed by ancient astronomers (天文学家) . The largest sunspots on the sun can be seen without a telescope. It was not until the invention of the telescope (望远镜) in the early 17th century, however, that systematic studies of sunspots could be undertaken. The great astronomer Galileo was among the first to make telescopic observations of sunspots.
Sunspots are regions of extremely strong magnetic fields (磁场) found on the sun's surface. A sunspot has a dark central core known as the umbra. The umbra is surrounded by a dark ring called the penumbra, where the magnetic field spreads outward. Sunspots appear dark because they are giving off less radiation. They are cooler than the rest of the sun's surface.
Sunspots are frequently observed in pairs or in paired groups. The members of a spot pair are identified as the leading spot and the following spot. They are identified by their position in the pair in terms of the direction in which the sun rotates (旋转) .
The number of sunspots at any one time varies. A large spot group may consist of as many as 10 groups and 300 spots across the sun. The number of spots changes in a fairly regular pattern called the sunspot cycle. The largest number occurs about every 11 years. At sunspot minimum,there are at most just a few small spots.
The average lifetime of an individual spot group is roughly one solar rotation, which is about25 days. The most persistent large spots, however, can survive for two to three months.
1.Careful observations and systematic studies of sunspots __________.
A. were made by ancient astronomers
B. started in the early 17th century
C. were made by Galileo only
D. could be made without a telescope
2.Sunspots are cooler than the rest of the sun's surface because __________.
A. they produce less energy
B. they are buried in the sun
C. they are far away from magnetic fields
D. they are close to magnetic fields.
3.The leading spot and the following spot are the names of __________.
A. two large sunspots
B. a large spot and a small spot
C. the two spots in a spot pair
D. the central core and the ring around it
4.If an intense sunspot activity had occurred in 1857, the next one would have been in __________.
5.In the last paragraph the word "persistent' means __________.