Solar Weather Browser

Astro software and whatever hardware

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davep
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 11:07 am
Location: South Lincolnshire
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Solar Weather Browser

Post by davep »

Despite working with rather lowly equipment I've found myself getting more and more fascinated with solar observing -- just the simple act of doing a sunspot count as often as I can has me rather enthralled (I'm looking forward to the day when I've got lots of data to graph.

Anyway, this evening I was looking around the net for a source of sunspot numbers held in a sensible format¹ with a view to writing a small tool that would auto-compare my counts with the "official" ones to see how well I was doing. During that search I stumbled on The Solar Weather Browser.

SWB is available for Windows, MacOS and various types of Unix (including GNU/Linux, of course) and it seems to be an amazing bit of software. Think of it as the solar equivalent of the Virtual Moon Atlas.

If anyone out there is interested in following what's going on on the Sun and they want a tool that lets them view it in all sorts of ways (with the ability to travel back in time too) then they they should give SWB a serious look.

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¹ I'm still looking. I've got one or two candidates but a source that publishes an RSS feed or some other form in XML would be really handy.

mkp
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Post by mkp »

Thanks for this link to SWB. I've been using a newly acquired PST recently for solar imaging and two sites I have bookmarked for daily solar activity are:

www.solarmonitor.org
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots

regards

Malcolm

davep
Posts: 2814
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 11:07 am
Location: South Lincolnshire
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Post by davep »

Thanks for them Malcolm. I "discovered" http://www.solarmonitor.org/ over the weekend and I'm very impressed with it (especially given that it's got RSS feeds too -- not quite in the format that I'd find really useful but a handy heads-up anyway).

As for my quest for easy-to-handle data, I ended up using the data from here and, with a little Unix shell script:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/sh

if [ "$1" -a "$2" ] 
then
    lynx -source "http://sidc.oma.be/DATA/DAILYSSN/dssn$1.dat" | grep "^$1$2"
else
    echo Syntax: grabdailyssn YYYY MM
fi
I've not got a way of getting a month's daily data with little effort. I'm now using it to compare my counts with "official" figures (you can see an example of this here, the SIDC column are the figures for May downloaded from the above location).

brian livesey
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Location: Lancashire
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Sacramento Peak..

Post by brian livesey »

Here's another solar site: http://www.nso.edu/
brian

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