Digitization may help trace the effects of the Sun’s variations on climate

TechnologyDigitization may help trace the effects of the Sun's variations on climate
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Tamil Nadu: The longest continuous observations of the Sun taken from the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KOSO), one of the oldest astronomical observatories in India, have been digitized and made available for community use. A digitized record of more than 100 years of solar observations taken on photographic plates/films can help scientists around the world strengthen the study of solar variability and its effects on climate over longer timescales.

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Understanding the future of the Sun is important for our own survival in times to come. In this sense, the observations of the Sun made in the last century allow us to look into the past. These historical observations can enable us to understand the behavior of our nearest star in its first phase and based on that we can predict its future. Understanding the fate of the Sun will shape our plans for space exploration because the Sun Our space is the driver for weather conditions.

Article published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences

Important sunspot data from KOSO, a field station at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, for the purpose of scientific analysis for the period 1921-2011 due to some important factors in solar data were usable. Researchers from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, two autonomous institutes under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, under the guidance of Shri Vibhuti Kumar Jha LEAD has addressed these issues in the available data and produced one of the most homogeneous and extended sunspot data series for a period of approximately 115 years (1904–2017). The new results are published in a recent article in the research journal Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences.

Data made available in open data

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All these data are available as open data from which students and scientists around the world can benefit. These data will prove to be a valuable asset to the solar community in understanding the Sun’s behavior over the past more than a century and predicting the future of our life-giving star.

Will help in preparing sets of oldest solar data

In one of the articles in this research paper, Dr. Dipankar Banerjee, Director, Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, reported that ‘Calcium-potassium spectra from the chromosphere plasma and images of the Sun taken in white light with the same telescope’ In addition to the Ca-K spectra, we are also digitizing daily images of sunspots over a 100-year period that have been preserved at KOSO. For this, artificial intelligence will be used to extract hand drawn photographs and data from those images. This will create one of the oldest, rarest, continuous sets of solar data that will also be useful to researchers in different regions of the world.

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