Who Discovered Sunspots?


Quick Answer

According to The Galileo Project, the scientific discovery of sunspots is widely accredited to Galileo Galilei and Thomas Harriot. According to The Exploratorium, however, Johann Goldsmid and Christopher Schenier are also credited with the discovery of sunspots.

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Full Answer

The earliest recorded naked eye observations of the sunspots go as far back as 28 B.C. in China. Greek literature also mentions the observation of sunspots by a philosopher Anaxagoras in 467 B.C. The study of sunspots, however, only began after the invention of the telescope in 1609. There is still a debate regarding the identity of the first discoverer, especially since sunspots had been observed earlier with the naked eye.

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