Sunspot Plotter

The sunspot plotter is easy to use. For example, select your birth date from the pull-down menus and the plotter instantly shifts to the day you were born:

The red curve traces monthly-averaged sunspot numbers tabulated by the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium. Data points go all the way back to 1755, so you can investigate the relationship between solar activity and many historical events: Do stocks crash during solar minimum? (Some people think so.) Did NASA send astronauts to the Moon during Solar Max? How do sunspots affect the length of mini-skirts? If you find any interesting coincidences, be sure to tell the webmaster.


What is the Sunspot Number?

Severe Space Weather--Social and Economic Impacts

Spotless Sun--the Blankest Year of the Space Age


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Sept. 1, 1859 - A "super solar flare" triggers the strongest geomagnetic storm in recorded history: more.

March 14, 1879 - Albert Einstein's birthday

May 14, 1921 - Strongest geomagnetic storm of the 20th century sparks Northern Lights over Samoa.

Oct. 24-29, 1929 - Stock market crash triggers the Great Depression

1939 - WWII begins

Feb. 1942 - J.S. Hey discovers solar radio emission

1945 - end of WWII

Oct. 4, 1957 - Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first artificial satellite

July 20, 1969 - first humans on the Moon, Apollo 11

Dec. 11, 1972 -- last humans on the Moon, Apollo 17

April 12-14, 1981 - first flight of the space shuttle

Oct. 19, 1987 - Dow loses 508 points or 23%, the worst percentage single day drop in history

Mar. 13, 1989 - Geomagnetic storm cuts electric power to Quebec for 9 hours.

Oct. 6-11, 2008 -- Dow loses 1,874 points, an 18% drop dubbed "The crash of 2008"