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Facula

Facula

[fak-yuh-luh]
For the genus of gossamer-winged butterflies, see Facula (butterfly).

A facula (plural: faculae) is literally a "bright spot." It is used in planetary nomenclature for naming certain surface features of planets and moons, and is also a type of surface phenomenon on the Sun.

Solar faculae are bright spots that form in the canyons between solar granules, short-lived convection cells several thousand kilometers across that constantly form and dissipate over timescales of several minutes. Faculae are produced by concentrations of magnetic field lines, and are most commonly found in the vicinity of sunspots; this is how the Sun may be actually brighter when sunspots are more numerous.

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