Solar Physics

, Volume 198, Issue 1, pp 51–56 | Cite as

Persistent 22-year cycle in sunspot activity: Evidence for a relic solar magnetic field

  • K. Mursula
  • I.G. Usoskin
  • G.A. Kovaltsov


We use the recently presented group sunspot number series to show that a persistent 22-year cyclicity exists in sunspot activity throughout the entire period of about 400 years of direct sunspot observations. The amplitude of this cyclicity is about 10% of the present sunspot activity level. A 22-year cyclicity in sunspot activity is naturally produced by the 22-year magnetic polarity cycle in the presence of a relic dipole magnetic field. Accordingly, a persistent 22-year cyclicity in sunspot activity gives an evidence for the existence of such a relic magnetic field in the Sun. The stable phase and the roughly constant amplitude of this cyclicity during times of very different sunspot activity level strongly support this interpretation.


Magnetic Field Sunspot Number Number Series Magnetic Polarity Constant Amplitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boruta, N.: 1996, Astrophys. J. 458, 832.Google Scholar
  2. Boyer, D. and Levy, E. H.: 1984, Astrophys. J. 277, 848.Google Scholar
  3. Bravo, S. and Stewart, G.: 1995, Astrophys. J. 446, 431.Google Scholar
  4. Cowling, T. G.: 1945, Monthly Notices Royal Astron. Soc. 105, 167.Google Scholar
  5. Gnevyshev, M. N. and Ohl, A. I.: 1948, Astron. Zh. 25, 18.Google Scholar
  6. Hoyt, D. V. and Schatten, K. H.: 1998, Solar Phys. 181, 491.Google Scholar
  7. Jenkins, G. M. and Watts, D. G.: 1969, Spectral Analysis and Its Applications, Holden-Day, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  8. Kremliovsky, M. N.: 1994, Solar Phys. 151, 351.Google Scholar
  9. Letfus, V.: 1999, Solar Phys. 184, 201.Google Scholar
  10. Levy, E. H. and Boyer, D.: 1982, Astrophys. J. 254, L19.Google Scholar
  11. Sonett, C. P.: 1982, Geophys. Res. Lett. 9, 1313.Google Scholar
  12. Sonett, C. P.: 1983a, Nature 306, 670.Google Scholar
  13. Sonett, C. P.: 1983b, J. Geophys. Res. 88, 3225.Google Scholar
  14. Storini, M. and Sýkora, J.: 1997, Solar Phys. 176, 417.Google Scholar
  15. Usoskin I. G., Mursula K., and Kovaltsov, G. A.: 2000, Astron. Astrophys. 354, L33.Google Scholar
  16. Vitinsky, Yu. I., Kopecký, M., and Kuklin, G. V.: 1986, Statistics of Sunspot Formation Activity, Nauka, Moscow (in Russian).Google Scholar
  17. Wilson, R. M.: 1988, Solar Phys. 117, 269.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mursula
    • 1
  • I.G. Usoskin
    • 2
  • G.A. Kovaltsov
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physical SciencesUniversity of OuluFinland
  2. 2.Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Oulu UnitUniversity of OuluFinland
  3. 3.Ioffe Phys.-Techn. InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations