Solar graphs

I've just uploaded a new addition to my astronomy site: a page of solar graphs. The graphs are updated each time I record a new solar count.

At the moment I'm not really sure that they're that useful or have a sensible purpose. I guess, if nothing else, over a long period of time, I'll be able to see for myself how solar minimum turns into solar maximum.

File Under: Sun, Solar Observing, Sunspots, Graphs.


Rob said...

Hey discoveries are made by looking at otherwise mundane data over time!

Dave Pearson said...

Heh, true enough, although I doubt I'll be making any discoveries using this data.

What is nice though is that it gives me yet another excuse to muck about with gnuplot ;)

Ian Musgrave said...

Nice graphs. But waht is the differnce between sunspot number and sunspot count, surely they shoul;dbe the same? And why are the susnpot numbers so high when the Sun has nearly been devoid of Sunspots, on the 10-06-06, there were only two active regions on the Sun according to Spacew.com, but your numbers range from 20-30.

Dave Pearson said...

Sorry for the confusion, I should probably document it shouldn't I?

The sunspot count is just that, a count of the number of sunspots I could make out with my equipment.

The sunspot number, on the other hand, is a calculation based on the number of active areas and the number of sunspots counted. The calculation is:

Number = ( ActiveAreas * 10 ) + Count

You'll see this better if you take a look at my tables of counts.

The area count, sunspot count and sunspot number are what I report to the solar section of the SPA each month.

Taking 2006-06-10 as an example: On that day I observed two active areas. Between them I counted 6 visible sunspots. So the AA count is 2 and the SC is 6. The sunspot number is 26 because:

( 2 * 10 ) + 6 == 26

Ian Musgrave said...

Ah Ha! Now I get it. Yes, a figure legend to the graphs would be good. Great work, I look forward to following the series as we go into the next solat Maximum.

Dave Pearson said...

Just so you know Ian: I've now added brief descriptions of each of the graphs.