A Model of Solar Luminosity Modulation by Magnetic Activity Between 1954 and 1984

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Science  13 May 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4854, pp. 906-908
DOI: 10.1126/science.240.4854.906


A simple model based on the changes in excess radiation from bright magnetic faculae and on changes in reduced radiation from dark spots is remarkably successful in matching the slow variations of total solar irradiance measured simultaneously by the ERB and ACRIM satellite radiometers between 1981 and 1984. This model was extended back to 1954 to reconstruct the modulation of irradiance by magnetic activity during the past three 11-year solar cycles. The model predicts that the sun is consistently brighter at activity maximum than at minimum. The 0.07 percent brightening at the peak of the last cycle in 1980 was more pronounced than the brightenings found for either of the two previous cycles, even though cycle 19, which peaked around 1957, had the largest sunspot number amplitude in the history of reliable sunspot records.