Solar Physics

, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 355–367 | Cite as

Latitude Dependence of the Variations of Sunspot Group Numbers (SGN) and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in Cycle 23

  • R. P. KaneEmail author


The 12-month running means of the conventional sunspot number Rz, the sunspot group numbers (SGN) and the frequency of occurrence of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) were examined for cycle 23 (1996 – 2006). For the whole disc, the SGN and Rz plots were almost identical. Hence, SGN could be used as a proxy for Rz, for which latitude data are not available. SGN values were used for 5° latitude belts 0° – 5°, 5° – 10°, 10° – 15°, 15° – 20°, 20° – 25°, 25° – 30° and > 30°, separately in each hemisphere north and south. Roughly, from latitudes 25° – 30° N to 20° – 25° N, the peaks seem to have occurred later for lower latitudes, from latitudes 20° – 25° N to 15° – 20° N, the peaks are stagnant or occur slightly earlier, and then from latitudes 15° – 20° N to 0° – 5° N, the peaks seem to have occurred again later for lower latitudes. Thus, some latitudinal migration is suggested, clearly in the northern hemisphere, not very clearly in the southern hemisphere, first to the equator in 1998, stagnant or slightly poleward in 1999, and then to the equator again from 2000 onwards, the latter reminiscent of the Maunder butterfly diagrams. Similar plots for CME occurrence frequency also showed multiple peaks (two or three) in almost all latitude belts, but the peaks were almost simultaneous at all latitudes, indicating no latitudinal migration. For similar latitude belts, SGN and CME plots were dissimilar in almost all latitude belts except 10° – 20° S. The CME plots had in general more peaks than the SGN plots, and the peaks of SGN often did not match with those of CME. In the CME data, it was noticed that whereas the values declined from 2002 to 2003, there was no further decline during 2003 – 2006 as one would have expected to occur during the declining phase of sunspots, where 2007 is almost a year of sunspot minimum. An inquiry at GSFC-NASA revealed that the person who creates the preliminary list was changed in 2004 and the new person picks out more weak CMEs. Thus a subjectivity (overestimates after 2002) seems to be involved and hence, values obtained before and during 2002 are not directly comparable to values recorded after 2002, except for CMEs with widths exceeding 60°.


Coronal Mass Ejection Solar Phys Sunspot Activity Sunspot Maximum Latitude Belt 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPESão José dos CamposBrazil

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