Thursday, January 10, 2013

1301.1922 (Sérgio Calderari Boscardin)

A cycle of measurements of the solar semidiameter with the astrolabe of Rio de Janeiro (1998-2009)    [PDF]

Sérgio Calderari Boscardin
The solar astrolabe at Observatorio Nacional has been doing a series of solar semidiameter measurements, extending from 1998 up to 2009, to a total of 21640 observations of the Sun. Using the data series it was established the solar radius variation along that period, as well as determining results about the change of the solar ellipticity. To the work in perspective, the measurements of the solar radius in the past four centuries are reviewed, followed by a more detailed account of the contemporaneous measurements. The deviations of the observed values from the true values caused by observational and instrumental effects are studied and the strategies used to derive the corresponding corrections are shown. The relationships linking the variation of the semidiameter and the relevant indexes of the solar activity are analyzed. Finally, the time series from Observatorio Nacional was enchained to all the other similar astrolabe series, from which the data were graciously confided to this work. Using such much longer combined data set it was established the long term behavior of the solar semidiameter along the last three solar cycles. The outcome is a strong correlation to the long period features of the solar activity described by the annual mean of sunspots count. Putting together the long term semidiameter variation and other solar evidences we point out the near approach of a deep minimum of sunspots.
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