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RE: Sunspots
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Title: The Great Sunspot Group of March and April, 1947
Authors: Hoge, E. R.
Journal: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 59, No. 348, p.109
Bibliographic Code: 1947PASP...59..109H

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Title: Summary of Mount Wilson Magnetic Observations of Sunspots for March and April, 1947
Journal: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 59, No. 348, p.145
Bibliographic Code: 1947PASP...59..145.

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Title: The solar differential rotation in the 18th century
Authors: R. Arlt, H.-E. Froehlich

The sunspot drawings of Johann Staudacher of 1749--1799 were used to determine the solar differential rotation in that period. These drawings of the full disk lack any indication of their orientation. We used a Bayesian estimator to obtain the position angles of the drawings, the corresponding heliographic spot positions, a time offset between the drawings and the differential rotation parameter \delta\Omega, assuming the equatorial rotation period is the same as today. The drawings are grouped in pairs, and the resulting marginal distributions for \delta\Omega were multiplied. We obtain \delta\Omega=-0.048 ± 0.025 d^-1 (-2.75°/d) for the entire period. There is no significant difference to the value of the present Sun. We find an (insignificant) indication for a change of \delta\Omega throughout the observing period from strong differential rotation, \delta\Omega ~ -0.07 d^-1, to weaker differential rotation, \delta\Omega ~ -0.04 d^-1.

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Solar maximum
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Hinode and SOHO Paint An Asymmetrical Picture Of the Sun

Approximately every 11 years the magnetic field on the sun reverses completely - the north magnetic pole switches to south, and vice versa. It's as if a bar magnet slowly lost its magnetic field and regained it in the opposite direction, so the positive side becomes the negative side. But, of course, the sun is not a simple bar magnet and the causes of the switch, not to mention the complex tracery of moving magnetic fields throughout the eleven-year cycle, are not easy to map out.
Mapping such fields, however, is a crucial part of understanding how - and, in turn, when - the sun will exercise its next flip. This flip coincides with the greatest solar activity seen on the sun in any given cycle, known as "solar maximum."

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 Here Comes Solar Maximum



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Title: Variation in sunspot properties between 1999 and 2011 as observed with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter
Authors: R. Rezaei, C. Beck, W. Schmidt

We study the variation in the magnetic field strength and the umbral intensity of sunspots during the declining phase of the solar cycle no.23 and in the beginning of cycle no.24. We analyse a sample of 183 sunspots observed from 1999 until 2011 with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope. The magnetic field strength is derived from the Zeeman splitting of the Stokes-V signal in one near-infrared spectral line, either Fe I 1564.8 nm, Fe I 1089.6 nm, or Si I 1082.7 nm. This avoids the effects of the unpolarised stray light from the field-free quiet Sun surroundings. The minimum umbral continuum intensity and umbral area are also measured. We find that there is a systematic trend for sunspots in the late stage of the solar cycle no.23 to be weaker, i.e., to have a smaller maximum magnetic field strength than those at the start of the cycle. The decrease in the field strength with time of about 94 G/yr is well beyond the statistical fluctuations that would be expected because of the larger number of sunspots close to cycle maximum (14 G/yr). In the same time interval, the continuum intensity of the umbra increases with a rate of 1.3 (± 0.4)% of Ic/yr, while the umbral area does not show any trend above the statistical variance. Sunspots in the new cycle no.24 show higher field strengths and lower continuum intensities than those at the end of cycle no.23, interrupting the trend. Sunspots have an intrinsically weaker field strength and brighter umbrae at the late stages of solar cycles compared to their initial stages, without any significant change in their area. The abrupt increase in field strength in sunspots of the new cycle suggests that the cyclic variations are dominating over any long-term trend that continues across cycles. We find a slight decrease in field strength and an increase in intensity as a long-term trend across the cycles.

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Wolf number
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Title: Long Time Oscillations of Wolf Number Series Autocorrelation Function and Possibility of Solar Activity Prediction
Authors: V. M. Zhuravlev, S. V. Letunovskiy

Results of analysis of long time variations of solar activities based on monthly Wolf number series (1749-2011 years) are represented. Shown the presence of stable oscillations in autocorrelation function for the Wolf numbers series with a period near 42.5 years. The statistical model of variations of autocorrelation function based on assumption of nonstationarity process are constructed. The question of using the model to predict the solar activity is discussed.

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Sunspot Penumbral Formation
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Title: Precursor of Sunspot Penumbral Formation discovered with Hinode SOT Observations
Authors: Toshifumi Shimizu, Kiyoshi Ichimoto, Yoshinori Suematsu

We present observations of a precursory signature that would be helpful for understanding the formation process of sunspot penumbrae. The Hinode Solar Optical Telescope successfully captured the entire evolution of a sunspot from the pore to a large well-developed sunspot with penumbra in an emerging flux region appeared in NOAA Active Region 11039. We found an annular zone (width 3"-5") surrounding the umbra (pore) in Ca II H images before the penumbra is formed around the umbra. The penumbra was developed as if to fill the annular zone. The annular zone shows weak magnetogram signals, meaning less magnetic flux or highly inclined fields there. Pre-existing ambient magnetic field islands were moved to be distributed at the outer edge of the annular zone and did not come into the zone. There is no strong systematic flow patterns in the zone, but we occasionally observed small magnetic flux patches streaming out. The observations indicate that the annular zone is different from sunspot moat flow region and that it represents the structure in the chromosphere. We conclude that the annular zone reflects the formation of a magnetic canopy overlying the region surrounding the umbra at the chromospheric level, much before the formation of the penumbra at the photospheric level. The magnetic field structure in the chromosphere needs to be considered in the formation process of the penumbrae.

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RE: Sunspots
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Title: The sunspot observations by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe
Authors: R. Arlt

A long time-series of sunspot observations is preserved from Samuel Heinrich Schwabe who made notes and drawings of sunspots from 1825-1867. Schwabe's observing records are preserved in the manuscript archives of the Royal Astronomical Society, London. The drawings have now been digitised for future measurements of sunspot positions and sizes. The present work gives an inventory and evaluation of the images obtained from the log books of Schwabe. The total number of full-disk drawings of the sun with spots is 8486, the number of additional verbal reports on sunspots is 3699. There are also 31 reports about possible aurorae.

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Title: Distribution of the daily Sunspot Number variation for the last 14 solar cycles
Authors: Mihail-Ioan Pop

The difference between consecutive daily Sunspot Numbers was analysed. Its distribution was approximated on a large time scale with an exponential law. In order to verify this approximation a Maximum Entropy distribution was generated by a modified version of the Simulated Annealing algorithm. The exponential approximation holds for the generated distribution too. The exponential law is characteristic for time scales covering whole cycles and it is mostly a characteristic of the Sunspot Number fluctuations and not of its average variation.

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New method detects emerging sunspots deep inside the sun

Viewed from the technological perspective of modern humans, the sun is a seething cauldron of disruptive influences that can wreak havoc on communication systems, air travel, power grids and satellites - not to mention astronauts in space.
If disruptions such as solar flares and mass eruptions could be predicted, protective measures could be taken to shield vulnerable electronics before solar storms strike.
Now Stanford researchers have developed a method that allows them to peer deep into the sun's interior, using acoustic waves to catch sunspots in the early stage of development and giving as much as two days' warning.

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