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LATITUDINAL DISTRIBUTION OF SUNSPOTS AND DURATION OF SOLAR CYCLES

CHANG, HEON-YOUNG

  • Received : 2015.06.30
  • Accepted : 2015.09.16
  • Published : 2015.12.31

Abstract

We study an association between the duration of solar activity and characteristics of the latitude distribution of sunspots by means of center-of-latitude (COL) of sunspots observed during the period from 1878 to 2008 spanning solar cycles 12 to 23. We first calculate COL by taking the area-weighted mean latitude of sunspots for each calendar month to determine the latitudinal distribution of COL of sunspots appearing in the long and short cycles separately. The data set for the long solar cycles consists of the solar cycles 12, 13, 14, 20, and 23. The short solar cycles include the solar cycles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, and 22. We then fit a double Gaussian function to compare properties of the latitudinal distribution resulting from the two data sets. Our main findings are as follows: (1) The main component of the double Gaussian function does not show any significant change in the central position and in the full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM), except in the amplitude. They are all centered at ~ 11° with FWHM of ~ 5°. (2) The secondary component of the double Gaussian function at higher latitudes seems to differ in that even though their width remains fixed at ~ 4°, their central position peaks at ~ 22.1° for the short cycles and at ~ 20.7° for the long cycles with quite small errors. (3) No significant correlation could be established between the duration of an individual cycle and the parameters of the double Gaussian. Finally, we conclude by briefly discussing the implications of these findings on the issue of the cycle 4 concerning a lost cycle.

Keywords

Sun;Sunspots;Data analysis

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