NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Solar radius change between 1925 and 1979From an analysis of numerous reports from different locations on the duration of totality of the solar eclipses on January 24, 1925, and February 26, 1979, it is found that the solar radius at the earlier date was 0.5 arcsec (or 375 km) larger than at the later date. The correction to the standard solar radius found for each eclipse is different when different subsets of the observations are used (for example, edge of path of totality timings compared with central timings). This is seen as suggesting the existence of systematic inaccuracies in our knowledge of the lunar figure. The differences between the corrections for both eclipses, however, are very similar for all subsets considered, indicating that changes of the solar size may be reliably inferred despite the existence of the lunar figure errors so long as there is proper consideration of the distribution of the observations. These results are regarded as strong evidence in support of the occurrence of solar radius changes on shorter than evolutionary time scales.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Sofia, S.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Laboratory for Planetary Atmospheres, Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Dunham, D. W.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Dunham, J. B.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Silver Spring, MD, United States)
Fiala, A. D.
(U.S. Naval Observatory Washington, DC, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
August 11, 1983
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 304
ISSN: 0028-0836
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Distribution Limits
No Preview Available