Solar Physics

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 379–385 | Cite as

Observations of sunspots by Flamsteed during the Maunder Minimum

  • Douglas V. Hoyt
  • Kenneth H. Schatten


In the bookHistoria Coelestis Brittannica, John Flamsteed (1725) lists his daily solar observations from 1676 onwards. Coupled with his comments in thePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and his letters to William Derham in the Cambridge University Library, it is possible to reconstruct a daily chronology of his solar and sunspot observations from 1676 to 1700. These observations are important because, coupled with daily logs of observations by Picard, La Hire, Eimmart, and others, a detailed record of the observations during a portion of the Maunder Minimum can be constructed. For example, for 1691, a typical year, the longest gap between observations is only four days. Flamsteed's observations are also important because they add to the data gathered by Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder, Eddy, and others in their study of solar activity in the seventeenth century. Flamsteed's observations are summarized here and a sample of his observations is presented.


Solar Activity Royal Society Seventeenth Century Detailed Record Maunder Minimum 
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  1. Flamsteed, J.: 1684,Phil. Trans. 14, 535.Google Scholar
  2. Flamsteed, J.: 1695,Letters to William Derham, Cambridge University Archives, Cambridge, England.Google Scholar
  3. Flamsteed, J.: 1725,Historia Coelestis Brittannica, 3 vols., H. Meere, London, 1466 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Maunder, E. W.: 1894,A Prolonged Sunspot Minimum, Knowledge 17, 173.Google Scholar
  5. Newton, H. W. and Leigh-Smith, P.: 1941,J. Brit. Astron. Assoc. 51, 101.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas V. Hoyt
    • 1
  • Kenneth H. Schatten
    • 2
  1. 1.Research and Data Systems, Corp.GreenbeltUSA
  2. 2.NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 936GreenbeltUSA

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