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Temporal Variations of the Solar Rotation Determined by Sunspot Groups

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Abstract

The extended Greenwich data set consisting of positions of sunspot groups is used for the investigation of cycle-related variations of the solar rotation in the years 1874–1981. Applying the residual method, which yields a single number for each year describing the average deviation from the mean value of the solar rotation, the dependence of the rotation velocity residual on the phase of the solar cycle is investigated. A secular deceleration of the solar rotation was found: the slope being statistically significant at the 3σ level. Periods of 33, 22, 11, 5.2, and 3.5 years can be identified in the power spectra. The rotation velocity residuals were averaged for all years with the same solar cycle phase relative to the nearest preceding sunspot minimum. The variation pattern reveals a higher than average rotation velocity in the minimum of activity and, to a lesser extent, also around the maximum of activity. The analysis was repeated with several changes in the reduction method, such as elimination of the secular trend, application of statistical weights, different cutoffs of the central meridian distance, division of the latitude into subregions and treating data from the years of activity minima separately. The results obtained are compared with those from the literature, and an interpretation of the observed phenomena is proposed.

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Correspondence to R. Brajša.

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Brajša, R., Ruždjak, D. & Wöhl, H. Temporal Variations of the Solar Rotation Determined by Sunspot Groups. Sol Phys 237, 365–382 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-006-0076-7

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Keywords

  • Solar Cycle
  • Solar Phys
  • Rotation Velocity
  • Secular Trend
  • Sunspot Group