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[fak-yuh-luh] /ˈfæk yə lə/
noun, plural faculae
[fak-yuh-lee] /ˈfæk yəˌli/ (Show IPA).
an irregular, unusually bright patch on the sun's surface.
Origin of facula
1700-10; < Latin: little torch, equivalent to fac- (stem of fax) torch + -ula -ule
Related forms
facular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for facula


noun (pl) -lae (-ˌliː)
any of the bright areas on the sun's surface, usually appearing just before a sunspot and subject to the same 11-year cycle
Derived Forms
facular, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: little torch, from fax torch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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facula in Science
Plural faculae (fāk'yə-lē')
A bright, cloudlike structure on the Sun's surface, ascending several hundred kilometers above the photosphere and often associated with sunspots. Faculae are formed when a strong magnetic field heats a region of the photosphere to higher temperatures than the surrounding area. They occur all over the Sun but are usually only visible near the limb (the outer edge of the Sun's apparent disk), where the photosphere appears dimmer than in the center.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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