Ref: SCART-2017-0008

Uncertainties in the Sunspot Numbers: Estimation and Implications

Dudok de Wit, Thierry ; Lefèvre, Laure ; Clette, Frédéric

published in Solar Physics, 291 issue 9-10, pp. 2709-2731 (2016)

Abstract: Sunspot number series are subject to various uncertainties that are still poorly known. The need to understand these better was recently highlighted by the major revision of the international Sunspot Number (Clette et al., in Space Sci. Rev. 186, 35, 2014). We present the first thorough estimation of these uncertainties, which behave as Poisson-like random variables with a multiplicative coefficient that is time- and observatory-dependent. We provide a simple expression for these uncertainties, and reveal how their evolution in time coincides with changes in the observations and processing of the data. Knowing their value is essential for properly building composites out of multiple observations, and for preserving the stability of the composites in time.

Keyword(s): Sunspots ; Statistics
DOI: 10.1007/s11207-016-0970-6

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Solar Physics & Space Weather (SIDC)
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles
Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence

 Record created 2017-01-06, last modified 2017-01-06