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On the Relation Between Sunspot Area and Sunspot NumberOften, the relation between monthly or yearly averages of total sunspot area, A, and sunspot number, R, has been described using the formula A = 16.7 R. Such a simple relation, however, is erroneous. The yearly ratio of A/R has varied between 5.3 in 1964 to 19.7 in 1926, having a mean of 13.1 with a standard deviation of 3.5. For 1875-1976 (corresponding to the Royal Greenwich Observatory timeframe), the yearly ratio of A/R has a mean of 14.1 with a standard deviation of 3.2, and it is found to differ significantly from the mean for 1977-2004 (corresponding to the United States Air Force/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solar Optical Observing Network timeframe), which equals 9.8 with a standard deviation of 2.1. Scatterplots of yearly values of A versus R are highly correlated for both timeframes and they suggest that a value of R = 100 implies A=1,538 +/- 174 during the first timeframe, but only A=1,076 +/- 123 for the second timeframe. Comparison of the yearly ratios adjusted for same day coverage against yearly ratios using Rome Observatory measures for the interval 1958-1998 indicates that sunspot areas during the second timeframe are inherently too low.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Publication (TP)
Wilson, Robert M.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Hathaway, David H.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2006
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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