Solar Physics

, Volume 291, Issue 9–10, pp 2493–2503 | Cite as

Sunspot Observations During the Maunder Minimum from the Correspondence of John Flamsteed

  • V. M. S. Carrasco
  • J. M. VaqueroEmail author
Sunspot Number Recalibration


We compile and analyze the sunspot observations made by John Flamsteed for the period 1672 – 1703, which corresponds to the second part of the Maunder Minimum. They appear in the correspondence of the famous astronomer. We include in an appendix the original texts of the sunspot records kept by Flamsteed. We compute an estimate of the level of solar activity using these records, and compare the results with the latest reconstructions of solar activity during the Maunder Minimum, obtaining values characteristic of a grand solar minimum. Finally, we discuss a phenomenon observed and described by Stephen Gray in 1705 that has been interpreted as a white-light flare.


Solar cycle, observations Sunspots, statistics 



Support from the FEDER-Junta de Extremadura (Research Group Grants 15137) and from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of the Spanish Government (AYA2014-57556-P) is gratefully acknowledged.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad de ExtremaduraBadajozSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Universitario de Investigación del Agua, Cambio Climático y Sostenibilidad (IACYS)Universidad de ExtremaduraBadajozSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad de ExtremaduraMéridaSpain

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