Sunday, 25 October 2015

Astrognome Scrapbook Samuel Heinrich Schwabe

Samuel Heinrich Schwabe

Born in Germany on the 25th October 1789, Samuel Heinrich Schwabe was a pharmacist, but he was also very interested in astronomy and in 1826 he started to study the Sun. At this time astronomers thought there might be a planet going around the Sun inside the orbit of Mercury, it had already been given a name, Vulcan.




Schwabe thought that by observing the Sun he might see a planet or dark spot moving across the face of the Sun. Between 1826 and 1843 he observed the Sun on every clear day trying to detect Vulcan. He did not find the planet but what he did discover was a regular variation of sunspots on the Sun. He believed that around every 10 years the sunspot numbers were at their greatest. This solar cycle is now fully recognized; astronomers today watch the Sun carefully watching at solar maximum events for the giant flares that come from the sunspots and which can cause potentially massive amounts of harm to our modern electronic equipment here on Earth.


He believed that around every 10 years the sunspot numbers were at their greatest. This solar cycle is now fully recognized; astronomers today watch the Sun carefully watching at solar maximum events for the giant flares that come from the sunspots and which can cause potentially massive amounts of harm to our modern electronic equipment here on Earth.


 It is to Schwabe that the credit must go to this, one of the most important discoveries in astronomy.

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