Timeline of solar astronomy

Timeline of solar astronomy

  • 1613 - Galileo Galilei uses sunspot observations to demonstrate the rotation of the Sun
  • 1619 - Johannes Kepler postulates a solar wind to explain the direction of comet tails
  • 1802 - William Hyde Wollaston observes dark lines in the solar spectrum
  • 1814 - Joseph Fraunhofer systematically studies the dark lines in the solar spectrum
  • 1834 - Hermann Helmholtz proposes gravitational contraction as the energy source for the Sun
  • 1843 - Heinrich Schwabe announces his discovery of the sunspot cycle and estimates its period to be about ten years
  • 1852 - Edward Sabine shows that sunspot number is correlated with geomagnetic field variations
  • 1859 - Richard Carrington discovers solar flares
  • 1860 - Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen discover that each chemical element has its own distinct set of spectral lines and use this fact to explain the solar dark lines
  • 1861 - F.G.W. Sporer discovers the variation of sun-spot latitudes during a solar cycle
  • 1863 - Richard Carrington discovers the differential nature of solar rotation
  • 1868 - Pierre-Jules-Cesar Janssen and Norman Lockyer discover an unidentified yellow line in solar prominence spectra and suggest it comes from a new element which they name "helium"
  • 1893 - Edward Maunder discovers the 1645-1715 Maunder sunspot minimum
  • 1904 - Edward Maunder plots the first sunspot "butterfly diagram''
  • 1906 - Karl Schwarzschild explains solar limb darkening
  • 1908 - George Hale discovers the Zeeman splitting of spectral lines from sunspots
  • 1942 - J.S. Hey detects solar radio waves
  • 1949 - Herbert Friedman detects solar X-rays
  • 1960 - Robert Leighton, Robert Noyes, and George Simon discover solar five-minute oscillations by observing the Doppler shifts of solar dark lines
  • 1961 - H. Babcock proposes the magnetic coiling sunspot theory
  • 1970 - Roger Ulrich, John Leibacher, and Robert Stein deduce from theoretical solar models that the interior of the Sun could act as a resonant acoustic cavity
  • 1975 - Franz-Ludwig Deubner makes the first accurate measurements of the period and horizontal wavelength of the five-minute solar oscillations



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