Solar Physics

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 393–399 | Cite as

A revised listing of the number of sunspot groups made by Pastorff, 1819 to 1833

  • Douglas V. Hoyt
  • Kenneth H. Schatten


J. W. Pastorff of Drossen, Germany, made about 1477 observations of sunspots between 1819 and 1833. These observations were erroneously interpreted by A. C. Ranyard in 1874 and then used by Rudolf Wolf in his calculations of the Wolf Sunspot Numbers. The result is a noisier daily time series and overestimation of the monthly and yearly means for these years. Pastorff was actually a very good observer. In this paper, Pastorff's original observations are reexamined and more nearly correct values for the number of sunspot groups are tabulated. We show some examples of the problems created by Ranyard's interpretation and the consequences for the history of solar activity that a correct interpretation of Pastorff's observations will have. Pastorff's observations provide valuable information on the first strong cycle after the Dalton Minimum (1795–1823).


Time Series Solar Activity Daily Time Correct Interpretation Sunspot Group 
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  1. Wolf, R.: 1874,Astronomische Mitteilungen No. 36, 280–290.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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