Sunspot Numbers – In 1610, shortly after viewing the sun with his new telescope, Galileo Galilei made the first European observations of Sunspots. Daily observations were started at the Zurich Observatory in 1749 and with the addition of other observatories continuous observations were obtained starting in 1849. The sunspot number is calculated by first counting the number of sunspot groups and then the number of individual sunspots. —— more . . .

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Reuters (15 Apr 2008)