Skip to main content
Log in

Periodicities in solar activity

  • Published:
Solar Physics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The techniques of power spectral analysis are used to determine significant periodicities in the annual mean relative sunspot numbers. The main conclusion is that a period of 10.45 yr is very basic and can be associated with an excitation of new solar cycles. When combined with a period of 11.8 yr, associated here with the free-running length of a solar cycle, the mean cycle length of 11.06 yr and a phase variation of 190 yr are explained. Similarly the amplitude variations with periods 88 and 59 yr (previously described as the 80-yr cycle) are due to an amplitude modulation of the solar cycle by a period of 11.9±0.3 yr. The results dispute several associations of planetary position and solar activity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Astronomische Mitteilungen der Eidgenössischen Sternwarte, Zürich, No. 273, 279, 283, 284.

  • Bigg, E. K.: 1967, Astron. J. 73, 463.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackman, R. B. and Tukey, J. W.: 1959, The Measurement of Power Spectra, Dover, N.Y.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bracewell, R. N.: 1953, Nature 171, 649.

    Google Scholar 

  • Everitt, W. L. and Anner, G. E.: 1956, Communication Engineering, McGraw-Hill, N.Y.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gleissberg, W.: 1952, Die Häufigkeit der Sonnenflecken, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jose, P. D.: 1965, Astron. J. 70, 193.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schove, D. J.: 1955, J. Geophys. Res. 60, 127.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldmeier, M.: 1957, Z. Astrophys. 43, 149.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldmeier, M.: 1961, The Sunspot-Activity in the Years 1610–1960, Schulthess & Co. AG, Zürich

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldmeier, M.: 1966, Astron. Mitteilungen der Eidgenössischen Sternwarte, Zürich, No. 274.

  • Wood, K. D.: 1972, Nature 240, 91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhukov, L. V. and Muzalevskii, Yu. S.: 1969, Astron. Zh. 46, 600. (English translation in Soviet Astron AJ 13, 473.)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Radiophysics Publication RPP 1647, January, 1973.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cole, T.W. Periodicities in solar activity. Sol Phys 30, 103–110 (1973).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: