Vol 22, No 9

Chinese Sunspot Drawings and Their Digitization --- (VII) Sunspot Penumbra to Umbra Area Ratio Using the Hand-Drawing Records from Yunnan Observatories

Jia-Wei Hou, Shu-Guang Zeng, Sheng Zheng, Xiao-Yu Luo, Lin-Hua Deng et al.


The ratio of penumbral to umbra area of sunspots plays a crucial role in the solar physics fields, especially for understanding the origin and evolution of the solar activity cycle. By analyzing the recently digitized sunspot drawings observed from Yunnan Observatories (1957–2021), we investigate the long-term variation of the penumbral to umbra area ratio of sunspots. An automatic extraction method, based on the maximum between-class variance and the morphological discrimination, is used to accurately extract penumbra and umbra and to calculate the ratio over six solar cycles (cycle 19–24). The expected value of the ratio of penumbra to umbra area is found to be 6.63 ± 0.98, and it does not exhibit any systematic variation with sunspot latitudes and phases. The average ratio fluctuates from 5 to 7.5 per year and the overall trend has decreased after 1999 compared to the previous one. The ratio of sunspot penumbra to umbra area satisfies the log-normal distribution, implying that its variation is related to the evolution of the photospheric magnetic field. Our results are consistent with previous works.


(Sun:) sunspots – Sun: photosphere – Sun: activity – techniques: image processing

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