The presence of the red flash at total solar eclipses requires the existence of an extended chromosphere and therefore of a photospheric magnetic network that gives rise to spicules. We draw attention to the earliest historical reports of a red flash at the 1706 and 1715 eclipses, which therefore imply a substantial, widespread photospheric field during at least the last decade of the Maunder Minimum. Our finding is consistent with reports of a persistent photospheric field throughout the Maunder Minimum from analyses of 10Be radioisotope evidence. We note, however, that the last decade may not be representative of conditions throughout the roughly 1645 – 1715 extent of that prolonged activity minimum.
KeywordsSolar magnetism Solar eclipses Red flash Maunder minimum
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