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Pietro Bernasconi   Submitted: 2008-01-24 12:56

Variations in total solar irradiance (TSI) correlate well with changes in projected area of photospheric magnetic flux tubes associated with dark sunspots and bright faculae in active regions and network. This correlation does not, however, rule out possible TSI contributions from photospheric brightness inhomogeneities located outside flux tubes, and spatially correlated with them. Previous reconstructions of TSI report agreement with radiometry that seems to rule out significant ?extra-flux tube? contributions. We show that these reconstructions are more sensitive to the facular contrasts used than has been generally recognized. Measurements with the Solar Bolometric Imager (SBI) provide the first reliable support for the relatively high, wide-band, disc-center contrasts required to produce 10 % rms agreement. Longer-term bolometric imaging will be required to determine whether the small but systematic TSI residuals we see here are caused by remaining errors in spot and facular areas and contrasts, or by extra-flux tube brightness structures such as bright rings around sunspots, or "convective stirring" around active regions.

Authors: P. Foukal; P. N. Bernasconi
Projects: None

Publication Status: Solar Physics, in press
Last Modified: 2008-01-25 08:22
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