News 002: From SIDC to SILSO, why a new name?

  • Posted on: 6 December 2013
  • By: Frédéric Clette

Over the past month, we already got very positive feedback about our new Web site. Like for all new Web sites, we had to fix a few initial defects but now, the web site seems to be on its tracks. Sorry for any inconvenience!
On the other hand, giving a new name to our World Data Center (WDC) seems to have caused some confusion. Will SIDC disappear? What will it change in the SIDC and sunspot services? So, let us clarify this point.
Over the past 15 years, the SIDC progressively encompassed a wider range of activities and projects. Therefore, while it started as the WDC "Sunspot Index Data Center" 32 years ago, the SIDC now actually designates the entire Solar Physics team at the Royal Observatory of Belgium.
In this very eclectic context, it seemed necessary to gather again under a specific name all long-term services and research activities associated to our World Data Center, in order to specifically address our users who are primarily interested in the secular evolution of solar activity and Sun-Earth relations. Therefore, SILSO  revives and modernizes the initial role of the SIDC when it was created 32 years ago, under a new name and acronym. SILSO thus now identifies one of the key domains in the various ongoing activities of the current SIDC (RWC-Brussels, STCE, solar space missions), which continues as the "Solar Influences Data analysis Center".