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Long-term variations in solar differential rotation and sunspot activity

  • Author(s): Javaraiah, J
  • Bertello, L
  • Ulrich, R K
  • et al.
Abstract

The solar equatorial rotation rate, determined from sunspot group data during the period 1879-2004, decreased over the last century, whereas the level of activity has increased considerably. The latitude gradient term of the solar rotation shows a significant modulation of about 79 year, which is consistent with what is expected for the existence of the Gleissberg cycle. Our analysis indicates that the level of activity will remain almost the same as the present cycle during the next few solar cycles (i.e., during the current double Hale cycle), while the length of the next double Hale cycle in Sunspot activity is predicted to be longer than the Current one. We find evidence for the existence of a weak linear relationship between the equatorial rotation rate and the length of sunspot cycle. Finally, we find that the length of the current cycle will be as short as that of cycle 22, indicating that the present Hale cycle may be a combination of two shorter cycles.

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