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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



Please help me keep this site running:

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
01%
01%
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 24-Nov-17 0338 UTC.
This page was first created in 1998, by Tomas David Hood (NW7US)

Current Sunspot Cycle 24 Activity and Space Weather

Sun Spots: 0 as of 11/23/2017 :: 10.7-cm Flux: 72 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): 9 | Planetary K-index (Kp): 3
Solar Wind: 361 km/s at 6.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -1.0 nT
(Nov 24, 2017 at 0324 UT)

X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [B1.7][0906Z 11/23] 24h hi [B1.7][0906Z 11/23]

Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days

Nov 23 2017 :: A5.0
Nov 22 2017 :: A5.2
Nov 21 2017 :: A5.2
Nov 20 2017 :: A5.2
Nov 19 2017 :: A5.7
Nov 18 2017 :: A6.0


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 0300Z on 24 Nov, 2017
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: 13 - 19 November 2017

Solar activity was at very low levels throughout the period. Several B-class flares were observed from Region 2687 (S08, L=180, class/area Cao/090 on 16 Nov). The largest was a B7 flare at 13/0648 UTC. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels on 16 Nov and high levels on 13-15 and 17-19 Nov. The largest flux of the period was 20,582 pfu observed at 13/1455 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to active levels. The period began with solar wind speed between 370-430 km/s and total field between 2-9 nT. A prolonged period of -Bz reaching -7 nT was observed between 14/1322-2256 UTC. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet levels on 13 Nov and quiet to unsettled levels on 14 Nov. By 15 Nov, total field increased to a maximum of 15 nT at 15/1858 UTC while the Bz component deflected southward to a maximum of -9 nT at 16/0100 UTC. Solar wind speed increased to around 520 km/s late on 15 Nov through 16 Nov as a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) became geoeffective. By 16/0900 UTC, total field decreased to 5 nT while solar wind speed began decreasing early on 17 Nov. The period ended at nominal levels with solar wind speed near 380 km/s. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to active levels on 15-16 Nov, quiet to unsettled levels on 17 and 19 Nov, and quiet levels on 18 Nov.



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


Latest GOES 15 Image of the Sun

Latest GOES-15 Image of the Sun


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 Z: Bz: nT
Bx: nT | By: nT | Total: 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
20 November - 16 December 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 22-25 Nov, 05-10 Dec and 12-16 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS influences.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 20-23 Nov, 29-30 Nov, 04-08 Dec and 11-14 Dec with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels likely on 04-07 Dec and G2 (Moderate) levels likely on 04-05 Dec 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:




Don't forget to join the Space Weather and Radio Propagation Facebook Page.




Grey-line Terminator Map



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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






Check out these books on Radio Propagation:

+ The New Shortwave Propagation Handbook (Paperback) - by George Jacobs, Theodore J. Cohen, R. B. Rose. The NEW Shortwave Progagation Handbook may well be the only book you'll need on the subject of ionospheric propagation! It is a "must read" for Radio Amateurs, Shortwave Listeners, and radio communicators of any type who need to make the most productive use of the radio spectrum, regardless of the time of day, the season of the year, or the state of the sunspot cycle. It will become your ever-present companion a the operating table as you master the art of shortwave radio progagation.

+ How Radio Signals Work (Paperback) - by Jim Sinclair. This book provides a basic understanding of the way radio signals work-without becoming bogged down with the technicalities. It covers all kinds of radio signal types--including mobile communications, short-wave, satellite, and microwave. No detailed knowledge of electronics or mathematics is required. A-Z coverage of radio signals including satellites, mobile communications, and short-wave radio. No math or electronics background necessary.

+ Introduction to RF Propagation (Hardcover) - by John S. Seybold. This book provides readers with a solid understanding of the concepts involved in the propagation of electromagnetic waves and of the commonly used modeling techniques. While many books cover RF propagation, most are geared to cellular telephone systems and, therefore, are limited in scope. This title is comprehensive-it treats the growing number of wireless applications that range well beyond the mobile telecommunications industry, including radar and satellite communications.



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

Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is
Copyright, 2017, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.

Last Update: November 12, 2017