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The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM): Science Results


The solar observations from the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) are discussed since the SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) launch in January 2003. The TIM measurements clearly show the background disk-integrated solar oscillations of generally less than 50 parts per million (ppm) amplitude over the ∼2 ppm instrument noise level. The total solar irradiance (TSI) from the TIM is about 1361 W/m2, or 4–5 W/m2 lower than that measured by other current TSI instruments. This difference is not considered an instrument or calibration error. Comparisons with other instruments show excellent agreement of solar variability on a relative scale. The TIM observed the Sun during the extreme activity period extending from late October to early November 2003. During this period, the instrument recorded both the largest short-term decrease in the 25-year TSI record and also the first definitive detection of a solar flare in TSI, from which an integrated energy of roughly (6± 3)×1032 ergs from the 28 October 2003 X17 flare is estimated. The TIM has also recorded two planets transiting the Sun, although only the Venus transit on 8 June 2004 was definitive.

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Correspondence to Greg Kopp.

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Kopp, G., Lawrence, G. & Rottman, G. The Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM): Science Results. Sol Phys 230, 129–139 (2005).

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  • Flare
  • Solar Flare
  • Activity Period
  • Relative Scale
  • Total Solar Irradiance