4th year of the GCOS-funded project completed

At the end of July 2022, the 4th year of the project funded by the GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) and carried out at the Specola Solare Ticinese (SST) and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) for the collection, storage and digitization of sunspot data has been completed.
The Sunspot Number (SSN) represents a 400 years long observational data series that was recognized in the last GCOS Implementation Plan published in 2016 as a valuable information for climate studies in particular for its applications in the long term solar irradiance reconstructions. The observations at Specola Solare Ticinese (SST) in Locarno have played a major role in the determination of the international SSN data series in the past 60 years and since 1981 SST assumed the function as reference station for the world data center SILSO (Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations) at the Royal Observatory in Brussels.
The aim of the present project is to provide a safe long-term archiving and digitization of the sunspot data and drawings collected at the SST). The project is carried out by the Associazione Specola Solare Ticinese (ASST) in collaboration with the ETH Library, where the sunspot drawings are being archived by the ETH Zurich University Archives (HSA) and digitized by the ETH-DigiCenter. Meanwhile the HSA is pursuing independently since 2016 a similar digitization project for the drawings and documents produced in the past at the Federal observatory in Zurich by Wolf and his successors.
Another product of the present project is a database containing the sunspot group data, that will allow further analysis. This is now available to the scientific community and for the public in the Specola website https://sunspots.irsol.usi.ch/. The database contains the metadata of each individual drawing (date, time, signature, observer, sky quality) and each individual sunspot group (sunspot weighted counting, classification, coordinates) observed at the Specola Solare Ticinese from 1957 to the present. For the period from 1981 to the present, the database also contains the sunspot unweighted counting.
The project was carried out by the Specola Solare Ticinese (SST) and the ETH Zurich University Archives (HSA) with the support of the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, in the framework of GCOS Switzerland.

4th year of the GCOS-funded project completed

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