posted on May, 9 2012 @ 04:46 PM
It's a sensor artifact that occurs when you take a photograph of a very bright object that's bright enough that the pixels in the brightest part of
the photograph are "overloaded".
Have a look here
for a little more on the subject and an example.
Normally when taking a photograph of the sun in a clear sky there would be only a single dot at the center of the sun (which would be the brightest
part of the photograph), but with clouds in the sky partially blocking the sun, there could be multiple dots/artifacts since the cloud is dividing up
the sun into multiple bright areas.
Not all sensors "overload" in the same way, but if you want to see if yours does this, there is not much danger to the sensor as long as you don't
point it at the sun and leave it there for some time (ie. mounted on a tripod) whilst the shutter is open.
Of course you should not look at the sun through optics of any kind unless you know exactly what you are doing, and whilst pointing a camera at the
sun while it's in your hand poses little threat to it, the sun can be dangerous, and I take no responsibility for any damage caused to.you or you
camera if you try this.