PHILADELPHIA - Sure, we get "sunspots" on our skin, but the sun also has its own sunspots.
Spots on the sun are also dark spots, and if you have a solar lens on a fancy camera, a solar filter on a telescope, or another way to safely look at the sun without your eyes, you'll see a handful of those dark spots on it.
FOX29 Viewers have been sharing their sunspot pictures with us.
Those areas are cooler than the rest of the sun, so they look darker to us.
According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, "Sunspots are only dark in contrast to the bright face of the Sun. If you could cut an average sunspot out of the Sun and place it elsewhere in the night sky, it would be about as bright as a full moon."
The sunspots on the sun right now are not by coincidence, the sun is in a years-long phase where it'll be sending more magnetic energy out into space.
Besides giving us heat, the sun constantly sends charged energy into space. That energy is called the solar wind.
When you see sunspots, particularly the more you see, the sun is sending out more solar wind and more magnetic energy than usual.
This can lead to you hearing about the Northern Lights in your news feeds on the socials.
When bigger blasts of magnetic energy blow into space, it gives more states across the northern US a shot at seeing the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights can make it as far south as Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but it's super rare. And, if we get them here, don't expect it to look like the pictures you see on the internet. There will just have a faint green in part of the sky.
The last time Northern Lights were visible around these parts was 2015, according to the Aurora Borealis Notifications reports. Meteorologist Drew Anderson says he remembers viewers reporting of them in September 2010.
Our best shot to get the Northern Lights is often late September or Early October. That's when skies are typically clearer than usual, and the Earth's better positioned that time of the year to get more charged energy from the sun.
When some of that charged energy sneaks into the Earth around the North and South Poles, it energizes the air way, way up in our sky. The air there isn't designed to handle that extra boost of energy, so it gets rid of that energy.
The air gets rid of that energy by giving off light, the Northern and Southern Lights.