Sunspot areas and tilt angles for solar cycles 7–10⋆
1 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
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2 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK
4 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 446-101 Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea
Received: 29 July 2015
Accepted: 21 August 2015
Aims. Extending the knowledge about the properties of solar cycles into the past is essential for understanding the solar dynamo. This paper aims to estimate areas of sunspots observed by Schwabe in 1825−1867 and to calculate the tilt angles of sunspot groups.
Methods. The sunspot sizes in Schwabe’s drawings are not to scale and need to be converted into physical sunspot areas. We employed a statistical approach assuming that the area distribution of sunspots was the same in the 19th century as it was in the 20th century.
Results. Umbral areas for about 130 000 sunspots observed by Schwabe were obtained, as well as the tilt angles of sunspot groups assuming them to be bipolar. There is, of course, no polarity information in the observations. The annually averaged sunspot areas correlate reasonably with sunspot number. We derived an average tilt angle by attempting to exclude unipolar groups with a minimum separation of the two alleged polarities and an outlier rejection method which follows the evolution of each group and detects the moment it turns unipolar at its decay. As a result, the tilt angles, although displaying considerable scatter, average to 5̊.85 ± 0, with the leading polarity located closer to the equator, in good agreement with tilt angles obtained from 20th century data sets. Sources of uncertainties in the tilt angle determination are discussed and need to be addressed whenever different data sets are combined. The sunspot area and tilt angle data are provided at the CDS.
Key words: sunspots / Sun: activity / catalogs / history and philosophy of astronomy
The sunspot area and tilt angle data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/584/A73
© ESO, 2015