On this date 412 years ago, Dutch astronomer Johannes Fabricius’ “Account Of Spots Observed On The Sun And Of Their Apparent Rotation With The Sun,” was published. It was based on an observation from March of 1611, when Fabricius had noticed several dark spots on the rising sun while observing through his telescope (Don’t try this at home. The brightness of the sun led him to switch to using a camera obscura to view the event).
Though Fabricius was the first to publish about sunspots, he was not the first person to notice them. A drawing of sunspots, in fact, dates all the way back to a 12th century chronicle of John of Worcester from 1128, while written descriptions of sunspots were recorded in China 1,000 years before that.