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butterfly diagram


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A graph on which the latitudes of sunspots are plotted against time. It shows how spots migrate from higher latitudes (30–40° north or south) towards the equator (latitude 5° or so) throughout each sunspot cycle, in accordance with Spörer's law. The shape of the distributions, when plotted for both northern and southern hemispheres, resembles the wings of a butterfly.

http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/images/bfly.tif Regularly updated version of the diagram from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

butterfly diagram: (a) Butterfly diagram for sunspots from 1874, and (b) corresponding plot of the total area covered by sunspots, measured as a percentage of the visible hemisphere

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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