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For the first time, NCAR scientists and colleagues have modeled the complex structure of sunspots in a comprehensive 3D computer simulation, giving scientists their first glimpse below the visible surface, or photosphere, of the Sun to understand sunspots' underlying physical processes. Recent advances in supercomputing made this groundbreaking numerical simulation possible. The work drew on increasingly detailed observations from a network of ground- and space-based instruments to verify that the model captured sunspots realistically.
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The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.