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  Sunspot area catalog revisited: Daily cross-calibrated areas since 1874

Mandal, S., Krivova, N. A., Solanki, S. K., Sinha, N., & Banerjee, D. (2020). Sunspot area catalog revisited: Daily cross-calibrated areas since 1874. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 640: A78. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202037547.

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Mandal, Sudip1, Author
Krivova, Natalie A.1, Author           
Solanki, Sami K.1, Author           
Sinha, Nimesh1, Author
Banerjee, Dipankar, Author
1Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832289              


Free keywords: Sun: activity / sunspots / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: photosphere
 Abstract: Context. Long and consistent sunspot area records are important for understanding long-term solar activity and variability. Multiple observatories around the globe have regularly recorded sunspot areas, but such individual records only cover restricted periods of time. Furthermore, there are systematic differences between these records and require cross-calibration before they can reliably be used for further studies.

Aims. We produce a cross-calibrated and homogeneous record of total daily sunspot areas, both projected and corrected, covering the period between 1874 and 2019. In addition, we generated a catalog of calibrated individual group areas for the same period.

Methods. We compared the data from nine archives: Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO), Kislovodsk, Pulkovo, Debrecen, Kodaikanal, Solar Optical Observing Network (SOON), Rome, Catania, and Yunnan Observatories, covering the period between 1874 and 2019. Cross-comparisons of the individual records were done to produce homogeneous and inter-calibrated records of daily projected and corrected areas. As in earlier studies, the basis of the composite is formed by the data from RGO. After 1976, the only datasets used are those from Kislovodsk, Pulkovo, and Debrecen observatories. This choice was made based on the temporal coverage and the quality of the data. While there are still 776 days missing in the final composite, these remaining gaps could not be filled with data from the other archives as the missing days lie either before 1922 or after 2016 and none of the additional archives cover these periods.

Results. In contrast to the SOON data used in previous area composites for the post-RGO period, the properties of the data from Kislovodsk and Pulkovo are very similar to those from the RGO series. They also directly overlap the RGO data in time, which makes their cross-calibration with RGO much more reliable. Indeed, comparing our area catalog with previous such composites, we find improvements both in data quality and coverage. We also computed the daily Photometric Sunspot Index, which is widely used, for example, in empirical reconstructions of solar irradiance.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202037547
 Degree: -



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Title: Astronomy and Astrophysics
  Other : Astron. Astrophys.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Les Ulis Cedex A France : EDP Sciences
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 640 Sequence Number: A78 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1432-0746
ISSN: 0004-6361
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828219_1