noun, plural faculae [fak-yuh-lee] . Astronomy.
an irregular, unusually bright patch on the sun's surface.

1700–10; < Latin: little torch, equivalent to fac- (stem of fax) torch + -ula -ule

facular, adjective
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World English Dictionary
facula (ˈfækjʊlə)
n , pl -lae
any of the bright areas on the sun's surface, usually appearing just before a sunspot and subject to the same 11-year cycle
[C18: from Latin: little torch, from fax torch]

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
facula   (fāk'yə-lə)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
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