Instructions for Excel Analysis of Cosmic Ray Muon, Barometric Pressure, and Estimated Planetary K Index Data


  1. Go to:, then go to the Muon Research page.
  2. Scroll down and click on the Related File:  March 2003 Mendon Muon Run or Sept 18, 2003 – Feb 4, 2004 Mendon Muon Run.
  3. Save the Excel file to your server folder or a disk.
  4. Go to the folder or disk and open the file.
  5. The data in the file includes:

Column A – Interval:                       two-hour time intervals from 0-1290

Column B – End Date                     the date the data interval ended

Column C – End Time                    the time the interval ended (in Eastern Standard time)

Column D – Counts                        the # of muon events in that interval

Column E – Rate (Hz)                    the rate of muon events (in Hz, or events/second) during the two hour interval

Column F – Sigma                          the estimated statistical uncertainty of the muon rate data (also in Hz)

Column G – pres (kpas)                 the average barometric pressure (in kilopascals) during the two-hour interval

Column H – k index                        the Estimated Planetary K Index as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the time period

  1. To begin graphing, click on the Chart Wizard icon on the top toolbar.
  2. Click on XY (Scatter) chart type and click next >.
  3. On Step 2 of 4 – Chart Source Data, click on the Series tab near the top.
  4. If data already appears on the graph, click the remove button under where it says series on the lower left.  Repeat this until all the data is removed and the graph no longer appears above.
  5. Once you’ve cleared the data series, click on the add tab on the left.  Three boxes will then appear on the lower right.
  6. Click on the chart icon on the right side of the X values box.  This will return you to the data spreadsheet with a chart wizard box “floating” above it.
  7. While on the spreadsheet, highlight the data that you would like to use for your x-axis.  (Note that if you highlight the whole column by clicking the letter on top, the axis will have a huge scale that will have to be adjusted later.  You may find it easier to simply highlight the numerical data in question.)  After you have highlighted the data, click on the chart icon on the right side of the floating Chart Source Data box.
  8. Repeat the operation for the y-axis data by clicking on the icon at the right of the Y values box, highlighting data, etc.
  9. If you intend to add a second y data series, click on the add tab at left, click the chart icon on the Y values box, and highlight another column of data on the spreadsheet.
  10. Label your axes (include units, as always), click off the legend, and finish the graph as a new sheet.  Note that at this point, you will not be able to label more than one y-axis, if you have more than one.  You’ll have to return to do this later.
  11. Click on the graph and remove the gray background.
  12. If you think there is a correlation between your variables, add a trend line, equation, and r2 value.


Additional Procedures:


To adjust axis scale:

  1. While viewing the graph, click on the axis in question, and then click Format, Selected Axis, and Scale.  Adjust the scale by changing the Minimum, and/or Maximum values.


To add a second y-axis scale:

  1. While viewing the graph, click on one set of data points, and then click the Format tab at the top of the page.  Click Selected Data Series, then the Axis tab.  Under Plot series on, click secondary axis, then OK.
  2. After this, click on Chart, then Chart Options, and label the second y-axis.


 To add error bars to muon rate:

1.      Highlight the data points on completed graph.  Click Format, Selected Data Series, and Y Error Bars.  Click on Custom at the lower left.  Click the icon on the right of the + box at right.  Click back to the data spreadsheet, and highlight the Sigma column.  Next, click on the  - box, and repeat the procedure.