Solar Physics

, Volume 166, Issue 2, pp 211–229 | Cite as

Measurements and variations of the solar diameter

  • F. Laclare
  • C. Delmas
  • J. P. Coin
  • A. Irbah


As a consequence of an astrometry program, conducted since 1975 on a solar astrolabe at the Calern Observatory (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur), we have obtained a data set of apparent solar diameters which encompasses periods greater than one solar cycle. From a set of more than 5000 visual observations, made by the same observer between 1975 and 1994, the mean value of the semidiameter was measured at 959.42″ ± 0.01″. Also, a set of CCD measurements made with the same instrument between 1989 and 1994 yields the mean value 959.40″ ± 0.01″. Both results obtained by raw measurements are consistent but significantly differ from values obtained by other methods and on other instruments. We discuss some systematic effects that can affect our visual measurements and their precision. Taking account of a zenith distance effect provides for the semi-diameter a mean value closer to the value of the ephemeris. Our observations also reveal deviations around the mean diameter in the royal zones and for high heliographic latitudes; their amplitudes reaching as much as 0.08″. Finally, semi-diameter variations appear in our series; their origin is unknown but they may possibly be related to observed variations of magnetic activity or other solar parameters.


Solar Cycle Systematic Effect Visual Observation Distance Effect Magnetic Activity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Laclare
    • 1
  • C. Delmas
    • 1
  • J. P. Coin
    • 1
  • A. Irbah
    • 2
  1. 1.OCA/CERGA (CNRS, URA 1360), Observatoire de CalernSt Vallier de ThieyFrance
  2. 2.Observatoire d'Alger, C.R.A.A.G.AlgerAlgeria

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