Solar Physics

, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 377–384 | Cite as

Evolution of polar coronal holes and sunspots during cycles 21 and 22

  • S. Bravo
  • G. Stewart


A very good correlation between the evolution of polar coronal hole size and sunspot number half a solar cycle later was found by Bravo and Otaola for solar cycle 21. In this paper we use a more complete set of data to reanalyse the relationship for solar cycle 21 and investigate the same relationship for solar cycle 22. We find that the complete set of data for cycle 21 yields a slightly different time shift for the best correlation between sunspots and holes and that the time shift for cycle 22 is different from that of cycle 21. However, because of limited availability of data of cycle 22, we consider it necessary to wait until the end of this cycle in order to decide if the difference is statistically significant or not. We also found that the time between successive peaks of smoothed polar hole area and smoothed sunspot number is the same in both cycles. This may provide a useful tool for the forecasting of future sunspot maxima. The constant of proportionality between polar coronal hole area and sunspot number can be seen to be different in both cycles. We discuss this difference and interpret it in terms of a different magnitude of the polar field strength in the two cycles.


Field Strength Solar Cycle Limited Availability Coronal Hole Sunspot Number 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Bravo
    • 1
  • G. Stewart
    • 1
  1. 1.Depto. de Física EspacialInstituto de Geofísica, UNAMCoyoacán D.F.México

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