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.
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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): 18
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 2
Solar Wind: 579 km/s at 7.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -1.0 nT
(Jan 19, 2022 at 1843 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [M1.5][1701Z 01/18] 24h hi [M1.5][1701Z 01/18]
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:
Predicted SMOOTHED Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values
With Expected Ranges
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: 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 (Close-up of the video, above)
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)
What's the difference between CB and amateur (ham) radio?
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.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 10 - 16 January 2022
Solar activity ranged from very low to isolated moderate levels. Very low to low levels were observed on 10-13 Jan with weak C-class events observed from beyond the NE limb. An isolated R1 (Minor) radio blackout event was observed from beyond the NE limb at 14/0203 UTC that peaked at M1. Additional weak C-class activity was observed from this same unnumbered region on 14 Jan. Region 2925 (S34, L=008, class/area Dso/240 on 05 Jan) produced a C4/1f at 14/1334 UTC. An associated CME was observed off the SW limb with a potential glancing blow expected at Earth on 17 Jan. Low level activity was observed on 15 Jan from Region 2924 (S31, L=038, class/area Ehi/430 on 08 Jan) and Region 2932 (N31, L=245, class/area Cro/020 on 15 Jan). 16 Jan witnessed additional C-class activity from Region 2930 (N20, L=320, class/area Dso/100 on 16 Jan) and an LDE C2/Sf from Region 2929. No additional Earth-directed CMEs were observed.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit. However, there was a weak enhancement to 1.7 pfu observed at 15/2115 UTC, possibly associated with shock passage from the 14 Jan CME.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was was at moderate levels on 10-15 Jan and at high levels on 16 Jan with a maximum flux of 2,280 pfu observed at 16/1910 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity was at mostly quiet levels on 10 Jan through midday on 14 Jan. By midday to late on 14 Jan, activity increased to unsettled to G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels due to a CIR in advance of a negative polarity CH HSS. Imbedded in this activity was a possibly transient from an earlier, undetected CME. Activity levels remained enhanced to G1 (Minor) storm levels on 15-16 Jan due to continued negative polarity CH HSS effects.
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)
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)
What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Quiet (A<20 and K<4) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): X-ray flux has remained below C level throughout the period. All three regions on disc remained stable or in decay. In particular the trailing edge of Catania group 91 (NOAA region 2821) seems to be dissolving. X-ray flux is likely to remain below C level though an isolated C-flare is not unlikely.
Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)
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).
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
17 January - 12 February 2022
Solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels, with a slight chance for R1 (Minor) radio blackouts, on 17-21 Jan due to the complexity of Region 2929. Very low to low levels are expected on 22 Jan - 02 Feb. Very low to low levels, with a slight chance for R1 (Minor) radio blackouts, is expected on 03-12 Feb with the potential return of old Region 2929.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at high levels on 17-23 Jan and again on 12 Feb due to recurrent CH HSS influence. Normal to moderate levels are expected on 24 Jan - 11 Feb.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled levels on 18, 24-26, 28-30 Jan, 05, 10 and 12 Feb, with active levels expected on 17 Jan, 04, and 11 Feb, all due to recurrent CH HSS activity.
Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC
Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is Copyright, 2021, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.