Direct Measurement of Solar Luminosity Variation

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Science  11 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4427, pp. 177-179
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4427.177


Two rocket flights of an absolute pyrheliometer, separated by 30 months, indicate an increase in solar luminosity (solar constant) of 0.4 percent. The significance of this result is considered in light of the instrument performance during the rocket flights and of pre- and postflight intercomparisons with independently maintained pyrheliometers. There is a high probability that the measured difference is real. Additional observations are required to determine whether the difference results from random fluctuations in solar luminosity, a nonrandom change of short duration, or a sustained change that has climatological significance.

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