The Hot Network Questions page displays a constantly changing list of 100 questions, since it deals with time since recent activity.
But are changes in this list ever recorded anywhere for posterity (or data mining, or to use in studies like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 etc)? Can one, perhaps someone with sufficient data access privileges, look at a certain question and see when it was hot, in the form of a graph or something?
As far as I can tell, history of this ever-changing list isn't stored anywhere:
We currently do not record anything about when a question enters/leaves the hot question list. The list is calculated on the fly each time (and heavily cached)...
This is a feature request to add an audit log or something somewhere for that.
I don't know how often is the list actually updated, but for data study purposes I think it would be okay to record changes once in an hour or two or, if even this would be too difficult, at least once a day would probably be acceptable.
Note there is a similarly looking question:
It only looks similar (partly because I simply modeled wording above after it:) but is actually different.
As opposed to current request which asks essentially for timeline of changes in a list of 100 elements (question IDs), older one is about much much more detailed data, namely about recording hotness score of all (!) questions all (!) time, if I read it correctly.
Not only it would be much harder to maintain and analyze such data, but its very usefulness became quite questionable after shuffling was introduced at sidebar, meaning that hotness score became simply ignored to a large extent.
Another older question which is indeed strongly related to current one:
The difference is that according to accepted answer from SE developer, that older request somehow involves fairly cumbersome (real time?) tracking of vote counts, which is totally irrelevant here, as current request is limited strictly to "timeline of changes in a list of 100 elements", possibly recorded "once in an hour or two or... at least once a day".