Ref: SCART-2022-0091

Reconstruction of the Sunspot Number Source Database and the 1947 Zurich Discontinuity

Clette, Frédéric ; Lefèvre, Laure ; Bechet, Sabrina ; Ramelli, Renzo ; Cagnotti, Marco

published in Solar Physics, 296 issue 137 (2021)

Abstract: The recalibration of the sunspot number series, the primary long-term record of the solar cycle, requires the recovery of the entire collection of raw sunspot counts collected by the Zurich Observatory for the production of this index between 1849 and 1980. Here, we report about the major progresses accomplished recently in the construction of this global digital sunspot number database, and we derive global statistics of all the individual observers and professional observatories who provided sunspot data over more than 130 years. First, we can announce the full recovery of long-lost source-data tables covering the last 34 years between 1945 and 1979, and we describe the unique information available in those tables. We then also retrace the evolution of the core observing team in Zurich and of the auxiliary stations. In 1947, we find a major disruption in the composition of both the Zurich team and the international network of auxiliary stations. This sharp transition is unique in the history of the Zurich Observatory and coincides with the main scale-jump found in the original Zurich sunspot number series, the so-called “Waldmeier” jump. This adds key historical evidence explaining why methodological changes introduced progressively in the early 20th century could play a role precisely at that time. We conclude on the remaining steps needed to fully complete this new sunspot data resource.

DOI: 10.1007/s11207-021-01882-6
Links: link

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

 Record created 2022-09-22, last modified 2022-09-22