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Related to faculae: Facular
luminous, apparently opaque layer of gases that forms the visible surface of the sun or any other star. The photosphere lies between the dense interior gases and the more attenuated gases of the chromosphere.
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faculae(fak -yŭ-lee) (singular: facula)
1. Bright patches in the upper part of the solar photosphere that have a higher temperature than their surroundings and occur in areas where there is an enhancement of the relatively weak vertical magnetic field. With the exception of polar faculae, which consist of isolated granules and appear in high heliographic latitudes around the minimum of the sunspot cycle, they are intimately related to sunspots, forming shortly before the spots – in the same vicinity – and persisting for several weeks after their disappearance. Faculae are best seen when near the Sun's limb, where limb darkening renders them more readily visible. They are approximately coincident, albeit at a lower level, with the plages visible in monochromatic light.
2. Bright patches observed on the surface of planetary satellites, especially Ganymede.