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SunSpotWatch.com

Radio Propagation : Space Weather : Sunspot Cycle Information

a live reference resource site for solar and geomagnetic data and images
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Gain the on-air edge: This article explains how the ANTENNA is the key! -> Read this introduction to Antenna Modeling


STEREO 3D

STEREO 3D IMAGE

X-ray Conditions (Flares) 5-min.

X-ray plot

X-ray Conditions (Flares) 1-min.

X-ray plot

Geomagnetic Conditions (Kp)

plot of Kp

Satellite Environment Plot:


Satellite Environment Plot





Main Propagation Menu:

+ Aurora Resources

How-To Articles:

- Is HF Propagation Reciprocal?
- De-mystifying HF Radio Propagation and Modeling

Check out the ACE-HF propagation software - the latest is version 2.05. ACE-HF is propagation forecasting and modeling for Amateur Radio as well as for Shortwave radio Listening and general HF operation. This software is even used by the military and other clients around the world. This software is developed and maintained by the same engineers that keep VOACAP up-to-date. As a result, this software is the most accurate user interface integrated with VOACAP. CHECK IT OUT, TODAY. This software is the most accurate modeling software available, and is endorsed by NW7US. Read the details to find out why.




Main Site Menu:

- Main NW7US Page
- About NW7US
- About Amateur Radio
- Feedback - Contact NW7US



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This website is kept alive by Tomas (NW7US), out of "spare change" (which there's not always enough of), and, by the kind, helpful people who visit this website. Would you like to help me keep this site running 24/7? If you are able to help me keep this website up and running, please: help me keep this site running for everyone... click on this donation button:


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Other links of interest:

- PropNET - live propagation studies
- Shortwave Radio Resource Center
- Shortwave Broadcasting Search

Comments? Please use the feedback form. I look forward to hearing your comments.


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Warnings/Alerts issued
in the last 24 hours, if any:

(Key: NOAA Scales)



[ live aurora display ]
[ auroral power maps ]

[ d-layer conditions ]

[ latest solar images 1 ]
[ latest solar images 2 ]
[ latest solar images 3 ]

[ active solar regions ]
[ current solar region image ]

[ What is a flare and its class? ]

Recent Space Environment Reports:

+ Reports of Solar & Geophysical Activity
+ Solar & Geophysical Activity Summaries

From the Space Environment Center:

Solar X-ray Flux

+ A 3 day plot of 5-minute solar X-ray flux values measured on the GOES 8 and 10 satellites.
+ A 6-hour 1-min Solar X-ray Flux plot

Satellite Environment Plot

[ Proton Flux ] [Electron Flux ]
[ GEOS Hp ] [ Estimated Kp ]

Additional Resources

+ SpaceW.com Aurora Network
+ D-Layer Absorption Conditions/Predictions
+ 160 Meter Propagation Forecast
+ Solar Physics Department of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the official keepers of sunspot data.




Solar Activity Forecast
The Forecast of Solar Activity as well as Geomagnetic Activity

Probability of Flares
and Proton Events
EVENT
(Flare/Proton)
0-24 hrs
24-48 hrs
M-class
05%
05%
X-class
01%
01%
Proton
01%
01%
Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities

Middle latitudes
High latitudes

0-24 hrs
24-48 hrs
0-24 hrs
24-48 hrs
Active
01%
01%
01%
01%
Minor Storm
01%
01%
01%
01%
Major-severe Storm
01%
01%
01%
01%



Solar Sunspot Cycle 24 Progress

Solar Cycle 24 Smoothed Sunspot Progress
Solar Cycle 24 10.7-cm Monthly Progress
Solar Cycle 24 Planetary A Index (Ap) Monthly Progress
Do you want the latest solar conditions sent to you as an RSS feed? Click: XML RSS propagation feed

You will need a newsreader for RSS/XML.

(Use http://hfradio.org/propsupport/prop.rss as your RSS channel url)




This page was rendered on 12-May-21 1318 UTC.
This page was first created in 1998, by Tomas David Hood (NW7US)

Current Sunspot Cycle 24 Activity and Space Weather

Sun Spots: 31 as of 05/11/2021 :: 10.7-cm Flux: 76 SFU
(SFU=Solar Flux Units)

Space Weather Overview Graphic from SWPC

30 Minutes of Dazzling Sun! Ultra-high Definition 4k View



An Intimate View of the Sun, Every Day of 2015 (Year 6 of SDO) UHD 4k



Watch Five Very Intense X-class X-ray Flares Erupt, Back-to-back!
(From the largest sunspot region in 20+ years...)



Check out the X2.7 X-ray Flare (May 5 2015) - 'Biggest' of 2015, so far



See highlights of the last five years of the Sun, as seen by SDO



The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Latest Solar Images
Click on an image for full-sized view





SDO - Solar Dynamics Observatory     SDO - Solar Dynamics Observatory

D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) Global Map

Map, Above: Conditions in the D region of the ionosphere have a dramatic effect on high frequency (HF) communications and low frequency (LF) navigation systems. The global D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) depicts the D region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes.

Note: At times, images may appear broken or missing, when SDO is working on the AIA/HMI instruments.


Planetary A-index (Ap): 3 | Planetary K-index (Kp): 4
Solar Wind: 411 km/s at 4.0 protons/cm3, Bz is 0.0 nT
(May 05, 2021 at 0435 UT)

X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [C1.5][0915Z 05/12] 24h hi [C1.5][0915Z 05/12]

Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days

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Check out the current Aurora Oval and activity.

What is the difference between the CB and Amateur Radio Services, in the USA? Here are some thoughts on the portrayal of the Amateur Radio Service by the Hit TV Series, NCIS, and a clarification of the difference between CB radio and ham radio.
(Skip to timecode 1:33 to bypass the introductory chat and talk about the headset microphone.)






Here is a video introduction to shortwave / HF amateur radio -- what is it that we amateur radio oprators listen to? If you have not yet been introduced to this world, this is a very basic introduction.






If you are using software utilities such as Ace-HF, that require a "smoothed" sunspot number
(Referred to as the SSN), or, the smoothed 10.7-cm Radio Flux Index,
use the following predicted values in this following table:



To understand more about the Maximum Usable Frequencies, and related
science, please read the MUF Basics Page.

Global HF Propagation Conditions
Global HF Propagation Conditions for 0400Z on 05 May, 2021
High Latitude: Normal
Middle Latitude: Normal
Low Latitude: Normal

Geomagnetic Latitude Ranges:
High: 60-90 degrees
Middle: 20-60 degrees
Low: 0-20 degrees


At 0805 UTC, on 9 August 2011, a strong magnitude X6.9 X-ray flare -- the strongest yet in this current solar cycle (Cycle 24) -- erupted on the northwestern solar limb. Here is a HD Movie of the event:



Videos of Interest - Space Weather, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, and more... from the NW7US YouTube Channel. (Click on the small image to launch the video...)

Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge
Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge



Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011

Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011 (Close-up of the video, above)

Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011
Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011



Video: On How NCIS TV Show Maligned Amateur Radio Service (Full UHD Version)
Video: On How NCIS TV Show Maligned Amateur Radio Service (Full UHD Version)
What's the difference between CB and amateur (ham) radio?



Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal
Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal



The NW7US Current Sunspot and Geophysical Activity Report
The observations, prognastications, and comments by NW7US
NW7US is Tomas David Hood, Propagation and Space Weather Columnist
for CQ Communications

More about Background X-rays

The hard X-ray energy present from the wavelengths of 1 to 8 Angstroms provide the most effective ionizing energy throughout all of the ionospheric layers in our atmosphere. The GEOS satellites measure these wavelengths and the resulting measurements are reported as the "background X-ray level" throughout the day. A daily average is reported, as well.

Just like X-ray flares, the background hard X-ray level is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2), reported using the categories, A, B, C, M, and X. These letters are multipliers; each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.

If one records the daily background X-ray levels for the course of a sunspot cycle, one would discover that the background X-ray levels remained at the A class level during the sunspot cycle minumum. During the rise and fall of a solar cycle, the background X-ray energy levels remained mostly in the B range. During peak solar cycle periods, the background energy reached the C and sometimes even M levels.

Armed with this information, can we discover any clues as to the current status of Sunspot Cycle 24? Below is a graph plotting the background hard X-ray energy reported by the GEOS satellites since the end of Sunspot Cycle 22. Clearly, we see a noticeable rise in Cycle 24 activity. We're seeing the energy mostly in the B level more often, supporting the view that Cycle 24 is alive and moving along toward an eventual sunspot cycle peak in several years.

Overall, the monthly average background 'hard' X-ray level is rising (as seen by the following plot), showing a change from deep solar cycle minimum. We are certainly in the rising phase of Sunspot Cycle 24. While it has been a slow up-tick over the last eighteen months, I expect to see a more rapid rise during mid to late 2011.

Background X-ray (1 to 8 Angstrom) Plot



Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 03 - 09 May 2021

Solar activity was at very low to moderate levels. Region 2822 (N18, L=335, class/area Dsi/180 on 09 May) rotated onto the visible disk on 07 May and produced an M3/1n flare at 07/1904 UTC. Associated with this flare were type II (816 km/s) and Type IV radio sweeps as well as a non-Earth directed CME. C-class flares were observed on 08-09 May, including a long duration C2/Sf flare at 09/1449 UTC with an associated Type II (407 km/s) radio sweep and another CME beginning at 09/1436 UTC in SOHO/LASCO C2 imagery. A faint, partial-halo CME was also observed on 09 May associated with a 15 degree filament eruption centered near S22E10. The CME was first observed in C2 imagery beginning at 09/1124 UTC. The two CMEs from 09 May are being analyzed at the time of this report with the potential for at least one having an Earth-directed component.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal to moderate levels through the period.

Solar wind parameters were weakly enhanced on 03-05 May under a positive polarity CH HSS. Solar wind speed increased to a maximum of 498 km/s at 03/2351 UTC while total field reached a maximum of 13 nT at 03/0500 UTC. The Bz component was mostly positive during this time resulting in quiet conditions. By midday on 05 May, solar wind speed had decreased to under 350 km/s and remained so through 09 May. Quiet conditions were observed for the rest of the period.



Monthly and smoothed sunspot number - The monthly mean sunspot number (blue) and 13-month smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last five cycles. You can see that this current cycle, Cycle 24, is a weak cycle, compared to the last few.

(Click to see actual size)
Monthly and smoothed sunspot number chart

Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)

Daily sunspot number (yellow), monthly mean sunspot number (blue), smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last 13 years and 12-month ahead predictions of the monthly smoothed sunspot number:

SC (red dots) : prediction method based on an interpolation of Waldmeier's standard curves; It is only based on the sunspot number series.

CM (red dashes) : method (from K. Denkmayr and P. Cugnon) combining a regression technique applied to the sunspot number series with the aa geomagnetic index used as a precursor (improved predictions during the minimum phase between solar cycles).

(Click to see actual size)
Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)

What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:

What is Space Weather? Slide 1 of 2 What is Space Weather? Slide 2 of 2





View of numbered sunspot regions and plages (if any)
Source: http://www.solarmonitor.org/.
(Click for large view)

Active Regions and Plages

Active sunspot regions, and plages, identified by SIDC

SIDC Solar Disc with active regions and plages




STEREO IMAGES
STEREO Behind Image
What is coming
SOHO EIT 195 Image
Current View
STEREO Ahead Image
What was...


Real Time Solor Wind and Aurora:

On 2021 May 12 1314Z: Bz: -15.8 nT
Bx: -4.2 nT | By: -10.0 nT | Total: 19.1 nT
Most recent satellite polar pass:
Centered on // : UTC
Aurora Activity Level was at UTC
visit noaa for latest.

This is a video of the simulation from May 27-28, 2011, showing
the Geomagnetic disturbance caused by the solar wind










Space Weather and Propagation Forecast
Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
and the Space Weather Prediction Center

Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)

Solar Forecast:

Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flares on days one, two, and three (08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec).

Geomagnetic Forecast:

The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to minor storm levels on day one (08 Dec), quiet to active levels on day two (09 Dec) and quiet levels on day three (10 Dec).


Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
10 May - 05 June 2021

Solar activity is expected to be very low to low with the chance for further M-class flares on 10-19 May as Region 2822 rotates across the visible disk. Very low to low levels are expected on 20-27 May with the return of old Region 2821 (S21, L=226). Very low levels are expected on 28 May-01 Jun. Very low to low levels are expected again on 02-05 Jun as Region 2822 rotates around the east limb.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be reach high levels on 16-19 May and again on 21-24 May due to recurrent CH HSS influences.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach unsettled levels on 10, 12-13, 15-18, 20-21 May. Active levels are expected on 15-17 and 20 May and G1 (Minor) storm levels are likely on 16 May due to recurrent CH HSS effects.




Real-time foF2 map from IPS (Ionospheric Prediction Service), Australian Space Weather Agency

foF2 Map from IPS, Australia

Space Weather + Ham Radio Resources



Click on image to
view larger versions

The following images
are from SOHO

C2 LASCO Image
C3 LASCO Image

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Check out this amazing NASA SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) video
showing plasma rain on the Sun!




Check out this amazing NASA SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) video
showing a prominence the Sun:




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Additional Views of the Sun

Be sure to check the Date shown in each photo - is it today's date?
(click to enlarge)

Current Numbered Sunspots / MDI MagnetogramCatania Solar Disc

H-Alpha View 1H-Alpha View 2






Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC

Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is
Copyright, 2018, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.

Last Update: July 05, 2018