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Monitoring Solar Activity Trends With a Simple Sunspotter

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Kristine Larsen

Physics and Earth Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06053

Presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the AAVSO, November 11, 2012; received
May 7, 2013; revised November 12, 2013; accepted November 13, 2013

Abstract

With the Sun now in solar maximum, solar observations are a timely means to interest students and the general public in astronomy in general and variable stars in particular. The commercially produced Sunspotter is a solar projection system that allows for safer solar observations by several individuals simultaneously. Educational uses for the Sunspotter are reviewed, and the ability of the instrument to track trends in the sunspot cycle (compared to a standard telescope and the American Relative Sunspot Number (Ra)) is examined.

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