Measurement of Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance
The Sun’s electromagnetic radiation powers our solar system. In the case of the Earth it heats the lands and ocean, maintains our atmosphere, generates clouds, and cycles water. For other planets and minor bodies, similar and appropriate physical processes occur, also powered by the Sun. The Sun varies on all time scales and a precise knowledge of the Sun’s irradiance and its variation is essential to our understanding of environments and physical conditions throughout our solar system. Measurements of solar irradiance and its variation can only be made from space, and almost thirty years of observation have now established that the total solar irradiance (TSI) varies by only 0.1 to 0.3%, while certain portions of the solar spectrum, the ultraviolet for example, vary by orders of magnitude more. This paper provides an overview of TSI observations and of spectral irradiance observations from the ultraviolet to the near infrared.
Keywordssolar irradiance solar activity cycle climate variability atmospheric photochemistry instruments and techniques
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Abbot, C. G.: 1948, ‘The Radiation of the Planet Earth to Space’, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 110, Publication 3940.Google Scholar
- Friedman, H.: 1961, ‘X-ray and Ultraviolet Radiation Measurements from Rockets’, in: W. Liller (ed.), Space Astrophysics, McGraw-Hill, N.Y., pp. 107–120.Google Scholar
- Fröhlich, C.: 2004, ‘Solar Irradiance Variability’, in: J. Pap, C. Fröhlich, H. Hudson, J. Kuhn, J. McCormack, G. North, W. Sprig, and S. T. Wu (eds.), Solar Variability and Its Effects on Climate, Geophysical Monograph Series 141, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., pp. 97–110.Google Scholar
- Fröhlich, C.: 2006, ‘Solar irradiance variability since 1978’, Space Sci. Rev., this volume, doi: 10.1007/s11214-006-9045-6.Google Scholar
- London, J. and Rottman, G. J.: 1989, ‘The contribution of solar UV irradiance variations to variations of the solar constant’, in: J. Lenoble and J. Geleyn (eds.), IRS’88: Current Problems in Atmospheric Radiation, A. Deepak Publishing, Hampton, Virginia, pp. 472–473.Google Scholar
- Menzel, D. H.: 1949, Our Sun, The Blakiston Co., Garden City, NY.Google Scholar
- Rottman, G. J., Floyd, L., and Viereck, R.: 2004, ‘Measurement of the solar ultraviolet irradiance’, in: J. Pap, C. Fröhlich, H. Hudson, J. Kuhn, J. McCormack, G. North, W. Sprig, and S. T. Wu (eds.), Solar Variability and Its Effects on Climate, Geophysical Monograph Series 141, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 111–126.Google Scholar
- White, O. R.: 1977, The Solar Output and Its Variation, Colorado Assoc. University Press, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
- Willson, R. C.: 1994, The Sun as Variable Star, Solar and Stellar Irradiance Variations, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
- Woods, T. N., Eparvier, F. G., Bailey, S. M., Chamberlin, P. C., Lean, J., Rottman, G. J., Solomon, S. C., Tobiska, W. K., and Woodraska, D. L.: 2005b, ‘Solar EUV Experiment (SEE): Mission overview and first results’, J. Geophys. Res. 110, doi:10.1029/2004JA010765.Google Scholar