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Title:
The sun's luminosity over a complete solar cycle
Authors:
Willson, Richard C.; Hudson, Hugh S.
Affiliation:
AA(JPL, Pasadena, CA), AB(California, University, La Jolla)
Publication:
Nature (ISSN 0028-0836), vol. 351, May 2, 1991, p. 42-44. (Nature Homepage)
Publication Date:
05/1991
Category:
Solar Physics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Solar Activity, Solar Cycles, Solar Magnetic Field, Stellar Luminosity, Infrared Radiometers, Periodic Variations, Photosphere, Solar Maximum Mission
DOI:
10.1038/351042a0
Bibliographic Code:
1991Natur.351...42W

Abstract

The Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM I) measured the sun's luminosity from early 1980 to late 1989. The first account of the complete ACRIM I data set is presented and evidence is given which confirms that solar luminosity varies with the 11-yr solar cycle. This slow variation closely follows statistical measures of the distribution of magnetic and photospheric features on the solar surface. An exception to this correlation occurred in the form of a remarkable irradiance excess during 1980, at about the time of the sunspot maximum of solar cycle 21. The linkage, over a whole cycle, of luminosity variation to photospheric activity suggests the existence of an unknown physical mechanism other than the thermal diffusion model that explains luminosity deficits due to sunspots. Luminosity models connecting total irradiance to global indicators of solar activity are consistent with the gross features of the variability but fail to account for the 1980 irradiance excess.
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