The Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM): Early Observations
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This paper presents and interprets observations obtained by the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) on the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) over a time period of several solar rotations during the declining phase of solar cycle 23. The time series of visible and infrared (IR) bands clearly show significant wavelength dependence of these variations. At some wavelengths the SIM measurements are qualitatively similar to the Mg II core-to-wing ratio, but in the visible and IR they show character similar to the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) variations. Despite this overall similarity, different amplitudes, phases, and temporal features are observed at various wavelengths. The TSI can be explained as a complex sum of the various wavelength components. The SIM observations are interpreted with the aid of solar images that exhibit a mixture of solar activity features. Qualitative analysis shows how the sunspots, faculae, plage, and active network provide distinct contributions to the spectral irradiance at different wavelengths, and ultimately, how these features combine to produce the observed TSI variations. Most of the observed variability appears to be qualitatively explained by solar surface features related directly to the magnetic activity.
KeywordsSolar Activity Solar Cycle Active Network Activity Feature Solar Surface
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