Solar Physics

, Volume 291, Issue 9–10, pp 2869–2890 | Cite as

How Deep Was the Maunder Minimum?

Sunspot Number Recalibration

Abstract

One of the most enigmatic features of the solar history is the Maunder minimum (MM). We analyze reports of solar observers from the group-sunspot-number database. Particular attention is given to short notes that resulted in an underestimation of the sunspot activity. These reports by Derham, Flamsteed, Hevelius, Picard, G.D. Cassini, and Fogel are found to address the absence of sunspots of great significance, which could signify a secular minimum with a majority of small short-lived spots. Up to Schwabe’s discovery of the solar cycle, sunspots were considered as an irregular phenomenon; sunspot observations were not dedicated to the task of sunspot monitoring and counting. Here, we argue that the level of the solar activity in the past is significantly underestimated.

Keywords

Sunspots Sun: activity 

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Pulkovo Astronomical ObservatoryRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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