We find the following statement in the National Intelligencer, from its London correspondent :— Mr. Faraday, in a late lecture before the Royal Institution upon the Magnetic Forces, made the following important announcement: A German astronomer has for many years been watching the spots on the sun, and daily recording the result. From year to year the groups of spots vary. They are sometimes very numerous—sometimes they are few.— After awhile it became evident that the vari-tion in number followed a descending scale ; through five years, and then on an ascending : scale through five subsequent years—so that the periodicity of the variations became a visible fact. While our German ffiend was busy with his group of sen-Spots, an Englishman was busy with the variations of the magnetic needle. He, too, was a patient recorder of patient observation. On comparing his tabular results with those of the German astronomer, he found that the variations of the magnetic needle corresponded with the variations of the sun-spots—that the years when the groups were at their maximum, the variations of the needle were at their maximum, and .so on through their series. This relation may he co-incident merely, or derivative ; if the latter, then do we connect r.stral and terrestrial magnetism, and new researches of science are open to us.
This article was originally published with the title "Spots on the Sun and Magnetic Variations" in Scientific American 8, 26, 203 (March 1853)