Spot Counts

As I pointed out a few days back, I'm now trying to make a point of observing the Sun at least once a day so that I can do active area and sunspot counts which can then be submitted to the SPA solar section.

Although I'm writing up my observations in my log I also wanted to keep some sort of tabular form of the counts — partly because it'll make it easier to fill in the monthly observation report, but also because I wanted the values in a form that I can manipulate without too much effort (perhaps graphing the values, or injecting them into a database or something).

Last week I quickly threw together a simple XML format for holding the data and, from now on, I'm adding my counts to files in this format. I'll be creating one file per month — you can see this month's file here.

This morning I added a new page to my astronomy site which displays the counts. It still needs a little more work, mostly just a case of adding links from each of the days listed to the related logs, but it's pretty much done and working. Probably not that useful to anyone but, as with other additions to the site, fun to work on and it gets a copy of the data "off site".

File Under: Sun, Solar Observing, Sunspot Counts.

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