Solar Physics

, Volume 245, Issue 2, pp 247–249 | Cite as

Did the Sun’s Prairie Ever Stop Burning?

  • P. FoukalEmail author
  • J. Eddy


The presence of the red flash at total solar eclipses requires the existence of an extended chromosphere and therefore of a photospheric magnetic network that gives rise to spicules. We draw attention to the earliest historical reports of a red flash at the 1706 and 1715 eclipses, which therefore imply a substantial, widespread photospheric field during at least the last decade of the Maunder Minimum. Our finding is consistent with reports of a persistent photospheric field throughout the Maunder Minimum from analyses of 10Be radioisotope evidence. We note, however, that the last decade may not be representative of conditions throughout the roughly 1645 – 1715 extent of that prolonged activity minimum.


Solar magnetism Solar eclipses Red flash Maunder minimum 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heliophysics, Inc.NahantUSA
  2. 2.National Solar ObservatoryTucsonUSA

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