Graphing Sunspot Cycles Worksheet                      Name:____________________

1. Set up a graph on your graph paper with years on the x-axis and number of sunspots on the y-axis. Number the graph so that it takes up as much room on the paper as possible.
2. Plot the sunspot number against time.

Sunspot number table, courtesy of the National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder (USA).

```
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Sunspot         Sunspot         Sunspot          Sunspot          Sunspot
Year Number     Year Number     Year Number      Year Number      Year Number
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1700   5
1701  11        1761  85.9      1821   6.6       1881  54.3       1941  47.5
1702  16        1762  61.2      1822   4.0       1882  59.7       1942  30.6
1703  23        1763  45.1      1823   1.8       1883  63.7       1943  16.3
1704  36        1764  36.4      1824   8.5       1884  63.5       1944   9.6
1705  58        1765  20.9      1825  16.6       1885  52.2       1945  33.2
1706  29        1766  11.4      1826  36.3       1886  25.4       1946  92.6
1707  20        1767  37.8      1827  49.6       1887  13.1       1947 151.6
1708  10        1768  69.8      1828  64.2       1888   6.8       1948 136.3
1709   8        1769 106.1      1829  67.0       1889   6.3       1949 134.7
1710   3        1770 100.8      1830  70.9       1890   7.1       1950  83.9
1711   0        1771  81.6      1831  47.8       1891  35.6       1951  69.4
1712   0        1772  66.5      1832  27.5       1892  73.0       1952  31.5
1713   2        1773  34.8      1833   8.5       1893  85.1       1953  13.9
1714  11        1774  30.6      1834  13.2       1894  78.0       1954   4.4
1715  27        1775   7.0      1835  56.9       1895  64.0       1955  38.0
1716  47        1776  19.8      1836 121.5       1896  41.8       1956 141.7
1717  63        1777  92.5      1837 138.3       1897  26.2       1957 190.2
1718  60        1778 154.4      1838 103.2       1898  26.7       1958 184.8
1719  39        1779 125.9      1839  85.7       1899  12.1       1959 159.0
1720  28        1780  84.8      1840  64.6       1900   9.5       1960 112.3
1721  26        1781  68.1      1841  36.7       1901   2.7       1961  53.9
1722  22        1782  38.5      1842  24.2       1902   5.0       1962  37.6
1723  11        1783  22.8      1843  10.7       1903  24.4       1963  27.9
1724  21        1784  10.2      1844  15.0       1904  42.0       1964  10.2
1725  40        1785  24.1      1845  40.1       1905  63.5       1965  15.1
1726  78        1786  82.9      1846  61.5       1906  53.8       1966  47.0
1727 122        1787 132.0      1847  98.5       1907  62.0       1967  93.8
1728 103        1788 130.9      1848 124.7       1908  48.5       1968 105.9
1729  73        1789 118.1      1849  96.3       1909  43.9       1969 105.5
1730  47        1790  89.9      1850  66.6       1910  18.6       1970 104.5
1731  35        1791  66.6      1851  64.5       1911   5.7       1971  66.6
1732  11        1792  60.0      1852  54.1       1912   3.6       1972  68.9
1733   5        1793  46.9      1853  39.0       1913   1.4       1973  38.0
1734  16        1794  41.0      1854  20.6       1914   9.6       1974  34.5
1735  34        1795  21.3      1855   6.7       1915  47.4       1975  15.5
1736  70        1796  16.0      1856   4.3       1916  57.1       1976  12.6
1737  81        1797   6.4      1857  22.7       1917 103.9       1977  27.5
1738 111        1798   4.1      1858  54.8       1918  80.6       1978  92.5
1739 101        1799   6.8      1859  93.8       1919  63.6       1979 155.4
1740  73        1800  14.5      1860  95.8       1920  37.6       1980 154.6
1741  40        1801  34.0      1861  77.2       1921  26.1       1981 140.4
1742  20        1802  45.0      1862  59.1       1922  14.2       1982 115.9
1743  16        1803  43.1      1863  44.0       1923   5.8       1983  66.6
1744   5        1804  47.5      1864  47.0       1924  16.7       1984  45.9
1745  11        1805  42.2      1865  30.5       1925  44.3       1985  17.9
1746  22        1806  28.1      1866  16.3       1926  63.9       1986  13.4
1747  40        1807  10.1      1867   7.3       1927  69.0       1987  29.4
1748  60        1808   8.1      1868  37.6       1928  77.8       1988 100.2
1749  80.9      1809   2.5      1869  74.0       1929  64.9       1989 157.6
1750  83.4      1810   0.0      1870 139.0       1930  35.7       1990 142.2
1751  47.7      1811   1.4      1871 111.2       1931  21.2       1991 145.8
1752  47.8      1812   5.0      1872 101.6       1932  11.1       1992  94.5
1753  30.7      1813  12.2      1873  66.2       1933   5.7       1993  54.7
1754  12.2      1814  13.9      1874  44.7       1934   8.7       1994  29.9
1755   9.6      1815  35.4      1875  17.0       1935  36.1       1995  17.9
1756  10.2      1816  45.8      1876  11.3       1936  79.7       1996   8.6
1757  32.4      1817  41.1      1877  12.4       1937 114.4       1997  21.5
1758  47.6      1818  30.1      1878   3.4       1938 109.6       1998  64.3
1759  54.0      1819  23.9      1879   6.0       1939  88.8       1999  93.3
1760  62.9      1820  15.6      1880  32.3       1940  67.8       2000  119.0
2001  110.9
2002  104.0
2003  63.7
2004  40.4
2005  29.8
2006  15.2
2007   7.5
2008   2.9
2009   3.1

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```

## Question for the Students

1. Connect the points you've plotted with a smooth curve. You'll notice that there are very clear peaks (maximums) and valleys (minimums). Which years are the maximums and which years are minimums? Label these years on your graph with a capital M and lower case m, respectively.

2. Is there is a regular pattern? To answer this question, take note of what scientists call the solar cycle, i.e., how many years are there between a solar maximum, a solar minimum and the next solar maximum? For example, in 1705 there is a maximum, in 1711-1712 there is a minimum, in 1717 a maximum. So the first solar cycle you plotted lasted 12 years (subtract 1705 from 1717). Take note of the other solar cycles by making a table of maximums, minimums and the years between 2 maximums.
a) If you had to guess at the average solar cycle length, what would it be from 1700-present?

b) Now find the average solar cycle length with a calculator. Show your work:

3. If you had to make a prediction for the years 2011 and 2017, would the years be maximums or minimums?

4. How many sunspots were there during the year you were born? Predict whether it will be closer to a maximum or a minimum when you graduate from high school and for when you turn 21 years old.