The Sun Recorded Through History
The Sun is nowadays observed using di?erent techniques that provide an almost instantaneous 3-D map of its structure. Of particular interest is the studyofthevariabilityinthesolaroutputproducedbythedissipationofm- netic energy on di?erent spatial and temporal scales – the so-called magnetic activity. The 11-year cycle is the main feature describing this phenomenon. Apart from its intrinsic scienti?c interest, this topic is worth studying because of the interaction of such processes with the terrestrial environment. A ?eet of space and ground-based observatories are currently monitoring the behaviour of our star on a daily basis. However, solar activity varies not only on this decadal time-scale, as has been attested mainly through two methods: (a) records of the number of sunspots observed on the solar surface from 1610, and (b) the records of 14 10 cosmogenic isotopes, such as Cand Be, measured in tree-rings and i- cores, respectively. The study of the long-term behaviour of solar activity may be comp- mented by the study of historical accounts describing phenomena directly or indirectly related to solar activity. Numerous scienti?c and non-scienti?c d- uments have reported these events and we can make use of them as a proxy of solar activity in past times.
An updated reference on the time variation of solar activity in the last thousand yearsAn essential resource on the evolution of solar observationsA primary reference for solar amateur astronomers doing observations with simple techniquesA description on the impact of astronomical phenomena on the society