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): 13
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 3
Solar Wind: 470 km/s at 7.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -3.0 nT
(Jan 26, 2022 at 1438 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [C9.9][2338Z 01/25] 24h hi [C9.9][2338Z 01/25]
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: 17 - 23 January 2022
Solar activity ranged from very low to high levels during the period. Low levels were observed on 17 Jan with 3 C-class flares observed from Region 2930 (N21, L=324, class/area Dao/230 on 18 Jan). Activity increased to moderate levels (R1-Minor) radio blackouts as Region 2929 (N08, L=321, class/area Dki/310 on 16 Jan) produced am M1/Sf at 18/1744 UTC. Associated with this event were Type II (143 km/s shock velocity), Type IV and 10cm (150 sfu) radio events. This event generated a non Earth-directed CME. C-class activity was also observed from Region 2930. Low levels returned on 19 Jan with a C1 flare observed from Region 2929.
High levels were observed on 20 Jan as Region 2929 produced an M5/!f (R2-Moderate) radio blackouts at 20/0601 UTC. Associated with this event were Type II ( 329 km/s shock velocity), Type IV and 10cm (350 sfu) radio events, along with a Caselli U radio signature. This event also generated a non Earth-directed CME. Very low levels returned on 21-23 Jan. Of note was a long duration B4 event at 21/1016 UTC with an associated CME. During this timeframe, a disappearing filament was observed lifting off near Region 2934 (S24, L=172, class/area Hsx/140 on 21 Jan). This CME was analyzed to have a potential glancing blow at Earth late on 24 Jan. On 22 Jan, another CME was observed at 22/1036 UTC associated with a disappearing filament located near N28E18. This CME was also analyzed to have a potential glancing blow at Earth on 26 January.
An S1 (Minor) solar radiation storm 10 Mev proton event was observed at geosynchronous orbit on 20 Jan associated with the M5 flare mentioned earlier in this report. The event reached a maximum flux of 22.7 pfu at 20/1015 UTC. A 100 MeV proton event was also observed at geosynchronous orbit on 20 Jan associated with the M5 flare. This event reached a maximum flux of 1.1 pfu at 20/0850 UTC. No other proton events were observed during the period.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at high levels through the entire period with a maximum flux of 6,130 pfu observed at 23/1620 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to unsettled levels on 17-20 Jan due to negative polarity CH HSS influence. Active to G1 (minor) storm levels were also observed on 18 Jan and active to G1-G2 (Minor-Moderate) storm levels were observed on 19 Jan due to possible embedded transients from CME activity on 14 and 15 Jan. Quiet to unsettled activity was observed on 21-23 Jan due to a sustained negative Bz component.
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
24 January - 19 February 2022
Solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels on 24 Jan - 02 Feb and 17-19 Feb. Very low to low levels, with a slight chance for R1 (Minor) radio blackouts, is ecpected on 03-16 Feb due to the return of old active region 2929 (N08, L=321).
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 24-26 Jan and 12-19 Feb due to recurrent CH HSS influence. Normal to moderate levels are expected on 27-31 Jan and 01-11 Feb.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levles on 24-27 Jan due to positive polarity CH HSS coupled with possible transient passage from the 21 and 22 Jan CME activity. Unsettled to active levels are expected on 04-05 and 10-12 Feb due to negative polarity 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.