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Sunspeck counts, Sun Does Not have Spotless Month

September 1, 2008
Read Sunspeck counts after all...Sun DOES NOT have first spotless calendar month since JuneĀ 1913

UPDATED AGAIN at 9:41AM PST Sept 1st - Watts Up with That

After going days without counting the August 21/22 "sunspeck" NOAA and SIDC Brussels now say it was NOT a spotless month! Both data sets below have been recently revised.

Here is the SIDC data: http://www.sidc.be/products/ri_hemispheric/

Here is the NOAA data: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY

They officially counted that sunspeck, after all. It only took them a week to figure out if they were going to count it or not, since no number was assigned originally.

But there appears to be an error in the data from the one station that reported a spot, Catania, Italy. No other stations monitoring that day reported a spot. Catania reports a spot in the southern hemisphere that day, but there was not one seen by anyone else.

For example, at the 150 foot solar solar tower at the Mount Wilson Observatory, the drawings from those dates show no spots at all:

ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr080821.jpg

ftp://howard.astro.ucla.edu/pub/obs/drawings/dr080822.jpg

Inquires have been sent, stay tuned.

Here is an exchange in comments from Leif Svalgaard, as posted on Watts Up With That?

---

REPLY: So What gives Leif....? You yourself said these sunspecks weren't given a number. I trusted your assessment. Hence this article. Given the Brussels folks decided to change their minds later, what is the rationale ? - Anthony

The active region numbering is done by NOAA, not by Brussels. The Brussels folks occasionally disagree. In this case, they did. Rudolf Wolf would not have counted this spot. Nor would I. What puzzles me is this:
21 7 4 3
22 8 4 4
The 3rd column are 'spots' in the Northern hemisphere, and the 4th column are 'spots' in the Southern hemisphere [both weighted with the 'k'-factor: SSN = k(10g+s)]. But there weren't any in the south. The Catania spot was at 15 degrees north latitude, IIRC. Maybe the last word is not in on this. ---

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