Journal Article

Aurora candidates from the chronicle of Qíng dynasty in several degrees of relevance

Akito D. Kawamura, Hisashi Hayakawa, Harufumi Tamazawa, Hiroko Miyahara and Hiroaki Isobe

in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan

Volume 68, issue 5 Published in print October 2016 | ISSN: 0004-6264
Published online August 2016 | e-ISSN: 2053-051X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pasj/psw074
Aurora candidates from the chronicle of Qíng dynasty in several degrees of relevance

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  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
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  • Solar Physics

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We present the result of a survey of sunspots and auroras in Qíngshǐgǎo (清史稿), a draft chronicle of Qíng dynasty, for the period of 1559–1912 CE. This is a sequel to a series of works surveying historical sunspot and aurora records, and providing online data to the scientific community regarding the attained results. In total of this Qíngshǐgǎo survey, we found 111 records of night-sky luminous events with such keywords as vapor (氣, ), cloud (雲, yún), and light (光, guāng), which may indicate auroras as well as some other phenomena. Similarly, a keyword survey for sunspots was conducted, but no sunspot record was found. In comparison with the aurora records in the western world, we found that 14 of the 111 records have a corresponding record of simultaneous observation in the western world, and hence are very likely to be aurora. In order to investigate the likeliness of the remainder of the record being aurora, we calculated the lunar age and the phase of a solar cycle for each record. After these calculations, a notable fraction of these records clustered near the full moon were to be found statistically doubtful in considerations with atmospheric optics; meanwhile, a few records of observations near the new moon could be more likely interpreted as being auroras, including three records during the Maunder minimum.

Keywords: catalogs; history and philosophy of astronomy; planets and satellites: aurorae; Sun: activity

Journal Article.  5998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics ; Planetary Systems ; Solar Physics

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