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Historical Heliophysical Series of the Ebro Observatory

Abstract

We present the contents of the historical heliophysical series collected at the Ebro Observatory, as well as the actions carried out to restore and save these data and to conserve the physical media containing the data and the telescopes that helped to obtain them. We also discuss the results obtained with these measurements, describe how we disseminated them, and report on the investigations that we have carried out with this information. We show the evolution of the local solar indices such as the Ebro Sunspot Number (ESN), the Ebro Group Sunspot Number (EGSN), or the Ebro Sunspot Area (ESA), which are derived directly from our data. For verification purposes, these local solar indices have been compared to the international sunspot numbers published by SILSO. Our data are reliable and correlate well with the respective international series. Finally, as an example of the possibilities that the Ebro series offer, we explain the use of these data to elucidate one of the recent problems in solar physics: the discontinuity in international data known as the Waldmeier discontinuity and, in general, the ratio between sunspots and sunspot groups. In the Ebro Observatory series, no discontinuity such as this is detected. We instead observe a rather stable ratio in the spot or group rates. This result is in agreement with the hypothesis of Svalgaard (2010, ASP CS-428, 297) that the Waldmeier discontinuity is produced only on a procedural level, perhaps by a change in the criteria used in Zürich by Waldmeier or by changing external conditions.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express their gratitude for the work done by the solar observers at the Ebro Observatory throughout its long history – a human chain that has provided an invaluable historical series of over one hundred years. We dedicate this article to all of these observers.

As regards international data, we thank the World Solar Data Centre (WDC) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium for its work in collecting, filtering, and storing the data it receives regularly from collaborating centres, and all the infrastructure it has in place for users to be able to freely download solar data from its web (SILSO).

We also thank the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides a huge amount of geophysical and solar data that are essential for studies in the field of space weather and the TOSCA project (ESSEM COST action ES1005 of the European Union).

J.M. Vaquero acknowledges the support from the Junta de Extremadura (Research Group Grants GR15137) and from the Spanish Government (AYA2011-25945 and AYA2014-57556-P).

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Correspondence to J. J. Curto.

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Sunspot Number Recalibration

Guest Editors: F. Clette, E.W. Cliver, L. Lefèvre, J.M. Vaquero, and L. Svalgaard

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Curto, J.J., Solé, J.G., Genescà, M. et al. Historical Heliophysical Series of the Ebro Observatory. Sol Phys 291, 2587–2607 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-016-0896-z

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Keywords

  • Waldmeier’s discontinuity
  • Heliophysical Series
  • Group numbers
  • International sunspot numbers
  • Sunspot areas