Solar Activity World Data Center

Solar Activity World Data Center

During the period of International Geophysical Year (IGY, 1957-58), International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU *) proposed to construct a network of 'World Data Centers' (WDC), in order to facilitate efficient distribution and use of observed data. In responding to this proposal, Japan established WDC C2 for Airglow at Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, WDC C2 for Solar Radio Emission at the Research Institute of Atmospherics, Nagoya University, and so on. These organizations have been financially supported by international programs such as IGY, IQSY (International Quiet Sun Year, 1964-65), and IASY (International Active Sun Year, 1969-71), but no permanent staff was allocated. In 1975, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) requested firm financial support for these data centers to the governments of member countries. The Science Council and the Science Advisory Board of Japan recommended this to the Japanese government, which resulted in promoting WDC activities. Permanent staff was assigned to WDC for Solar Radio Emission in 1977, and to the Solar Activity World Data Center, Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, in 1978. In 1979, the editorial office of `Quarterly Bulletin on Solar Activity' (QBSA) was transferred from Zurich Observatory to Tokyo Astronomical Observatory. QBSA is the publications of IAU with financial aid from UNESCO. This task is one of the services organized by FAGS† (Federation of Astronomical, Geophysical, and Data Analysis Services) under ICSU.

The Solar Activity World Data Center takes care of the publications of QBSA, and serves as WDC C2 for Solar Radio Emission and WDC C2 for Airglow. Data collected from all over the world are edited and published in QBSA. The Center also maintains the database of long-term activity of the Sun obtained with the solar telescopes at Mitaka and Norikura.

* ICSU was established in 1931 as the International Coulcil of Scientific Unions, and in 1998 its name was changed to the International Council for Science.

† FAGS was merged with WDC when World Data System (WDS) was established in 2008.

World Data Center C2 for Airglow

'Airglow' is the emission from atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere of the earth. In the daytime, these particles obtain energy from sunlight, and at night they emit light by photochemical reaction. The airglow is made mostly of emission lines such as 5577 Å (green line) and 6300 Å (red line) of neutral oxygen, and the D-line (5890-5896 Å) of sodium. Airglow observations in Japan started in the IGY period (1957-58), and have been continued since then by upgrading the instruments. Currently the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University operates Optical Mesosphere Thermosphere Imagers (OMTIs). The following page of "Airglow Data Archive" maintains data in the period of 1957-1994.


- Solar Influences Data analysis Center (SIDC, Brussels)
- World Data System (WDS)
- International Council for Science (ICSU)
- Solar Geophysical Data (PDF Version)