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Solar Physics

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 251–267 | Cite as

The classification of sunspot groups

  • Patrick S. McIntosh
Article

Abstract

The 3-component McIntosh classification of sunspots was introduced in 1966, adopted for interchange and publication of data in 1969, and has been used increasingly in recent years. The McIntosh classification uses a modified Zurich evolutionary sequence as its first component, class, where two of the Zurich classes are omitted and more quantitative definitions are used. It then adds descriptions of the largest spot (second component) and the degree of spottedness in the group interior (third component) to define 60 distinct types of sunspot groups. Definitions of the McIntosh classification system and their rationale are presented herein. Correlations with solar flares excel those with the earlier Zurich classification, prompting the use of the McIntosh classification in an expert system (Theo) for predicting X-ray solar flares.

Keywords

Flare Classification System Expert System Distinct Type Solar Flare 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick S. McIntosh
    • 1
  1. 1.NOAA Space Environment LabBoulderU.S.A.

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