Eos: Preserving a 45-Year Record of Sunspots

Eos: Preserving a 45-Year Record of Sunspots. “In 1964, the late solar researcher Patrick McIntosh launched an ambitious effort to track sunspots—relatively cool, dark blotches on the Sun caused by disturbances in the star’s magnetic field. He traced sunspots and other solar surface features from daily photographs, creating a map of the full Sun approximately every 27 days. This led to important advances in the prediction of solar flares and helped to reveal the large-scale organization of the Sun’s magnetic field. Now scientists are working to preserve and digitize McIntosh’s project, a uniquely consistent record of solar activity over 45 years.”