Solar Physics

, Volume 197, Issue 1, pp 203–213 | Cite as

Sunspot and Auroral Activity During Maunder Minimum

  • V. Letfus


The extremely low sunspot activity during the period of the Maunder minimum 1645–1715 was confirmed by group sunspot numbers, a new sunspot index constructed by Hoyt and Schatten (1998a,b). Neither sunspots nor auroral data time behavior indicate the presence of 11-year solar cycles as stated by Eddy (1976). The evidence for solar cycles was found in the butterfly diagram, constructed from observations made at Observatoire de Paris. After Clivier, Boriakoff, and Bounar (1998) the solar cycles were reflected also in geomagnetic activity. Results are supported by the variation of cosmogenic isotopes 10Be and 14C. The majority of the observed 14 naked-eye sunspots occurred on days when telescopic observations were not available. A part of them appeared in the years when no spot was allegedly observed. Two-ribbon flares appear in plages with only very small or no sunspots. Some of these flares are geoactive. Most aurorae (90%), which were observed during the Maunder minimum, appeared in years when no spot was observed. Auroral events as a consequence of proton flares indicate that regions with enhanced magnetic field can occur on the Sun when these regions do not produce any sunspots.


Flare Solar Cycle Sunspot Number Group Sunspot Maunder Minimum 
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.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Letfus
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomical InstituteAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicOndřejovCzech Republic

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