Solar Physics

, Volume 289, Issue 5, pp 1843–1861

Long-term Spatial and Temporal Variations of Aurora Borealis Events in the Period 1700 – 1905


DOI: 10.1007/s11207-013-0413-6

Cite this article as:
Vázquez, M., Vaquero, J.M. & Gallego, M.C. Sol Phys (2014) 289: 1843. doi:10.1007/s11207-013-0413-6


Catalogues and other records of aurora-borealis events were used to study the long-term spatial and temporal variation of these phenomena in the period from 1700 to 1905 in the Northern Hemisphere. For this purpose, geographic and geomagnetic coordinates were assigned to approximately 27 000 auroral events with more than 80 000 observations. They were analyzed separately in three large-scale areas: i) Europe and North Africa, ii) North America, and iii) Asia. There was a clear need to fill some gaps existing in the records so as to have a reliable proxy of solar activity, especially during the 18th century. In order to enhance the long-term variability, an 11-year smoothing window was applied to the data. Variations in the cumulative numbers of auroral events with latitude (in both geographic and geomagnetic coordinates) were used to discriminate between the two main solar sources: coronal mass ejections and high-speed streams from coronal holes. The characteristics of the associated auroras correlate differently with the solar-activity cycle.


Solar activityGeomagnetic stormAurora borealis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofísica de CanariasLa LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de AstrofísicaUniversidad de La LagunaLa LagunaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad de ExtremaduraMéridaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad de ExtremaduraBadajozSpain