Last update January 3, 2003 at 03:00 UTC. Minor update posted at 12:32 UTC.
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[Solar cycles 21-23 (last update January 1, 2003)]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22 and 23 (last update January 1, 2003)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 13, 17, 20 and 23 (last update January 1, 2003)]
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[Archived reports (last update January 1, 2003)]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled on January 2. Solar wind speed ranged between 339 and 415 km/sec. The first signs of a coronal stream was observed at ACE after 19h UTC. Solar wind density peaked near midnight and early on January 3 solar wind speed is increasing.
Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 118.3. The planetary A
index was 8 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 9.0).
Three hour interval K indices: 22223331 (planetary), 21222332 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux is at the class B2-B3 level.
At midnight there were 5 spotted regions on the visible disk, 1 of which has not yet been numbered. Solar flare activity was low. An optically uncorrelated C1.5 event was observed peaking at 13:06 UTC.
Region 10234 decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 10239 decayed in the leading spot section while the trailing spots were mostly unchanged.
Region 10240 reemerged with a single spot, then decayed and was spotless again by midnight.
New region 10241 emerged in the southwest quadrant.
New region 10242 emerged near the southeast limb. This region could produce C flares.
Spotted regions not yet numbered by SEC:
[S65] A new region emerged late on January 1 to the south of region 10239. The region decayed and was spotless at noon, then several spots emerged quickly during the evening. Location at midnight: S18W19.
Comment added at 12:32 UTC on January 3: The geomagnetic field was
quiet during the first half of the day. The current coronal stream has so far
been associated with a mostly northwards interplanetary magnetic field and this
has resulted in no increase in geomagnetic activity. Solar wind speed is
approaching 550 km/sec.
Changes noted to spotted regions: Two new regions have become visible. One is a region which has rotated into view at the northeast limb, this is an HSX group with an area of 0050. The other one is a rapidly emerging region near the southeast limb, well to the south of region 10242. Currently this is a DAO region with an area of 0050 mills. Region 10242 has developed quickly and has 15 spots and an area of nearly 0100 mills. Region 10234 is fading and could become spotless tomorrow.
December 31-January 2: No obviously geoeffective CMEs observed.
Coronal hole history (since late October 2002)
Compare today's report with the situation one solar rotation ago: 28 days ago 27 days ago 26 days ago
A recurrent trans equatorial coronal hole was in a geoeffective position on December 31-January 1.
Processed SOHO EIT 284 image at 19:06 UTC on January 2. Any black areas on the solar disk are likely coronal holes.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to active on January 3-4 due to a coronal stream. Quiet to unsettled is likely on January 5-6. Long distance medium wave (AM) band propagation along east-west paths over high and upper middle latitudes is fair to poor and deteriorating.
|Coronal holes (1)||Coronal mass ejections (2)||M and X class flares (3)|
1) Effects from a coronal hole could reach Earth within the
next 5 days.
2) Material from a CME is likely to impact Earth within 96 hours.
3) There is a possibility of either M or X class flares within the next 48 hours.
Green: 0-20% probability, Yellow: 20-60% probability, Red: 60-100% probability.
Composite image based on a SOHO/MDI continuum image and overlaid by a coronal hole image. Region numbering has been included. Compare to the previous day's image.
Data for all numbered solar regions according to the Solar Region Summary provided by SEC/NOAA. Comments are my own, as is the STAR spot count (spots observed at or inside a few hours before midnight) and data for regions not numbered by SEC or where SEC has observed no spots.
|Solar region||Date numbered||SEC
|Location at midnight||Area||Classification||Comment|
area was 0050
|Total spot count:||24||26|
flux at Earth
|International sunspot number||Smoothed sunspot number|
cycle 23 sunspot max.
|2002.07||173.5||99.6||(102.1 predicted, -4.1)|
|2002.08||183.6||116.4||(98.5 predicted, -3.6)|
|2002.09||175.8||109.6||(95.5 predicted, -3.0)|
|2002.10||167.0||97.5||(92.0 predicted, -3.5)|
|2002.11||168.7||95.0||(86.7 predicted, -5.3)|
|2002.12||157.2||81.6||(82.4 predicted, -4.3)|
|2003.01||116.7 (1)||3.9 (2)||(79.4 predicted, -3.0)|
1) Running average based on the daily 20:00 UT observed solar flux value at 2800
2) Unofficial, accumulated value based on the Boulder (SEC/NOAA) sunspot number. The official international sunspot number is typically 25-45% less.
This report has been prepared by Jan Alvestad. It is based partly on my own observations and interpretations, and partly on data from sources noted in solar links. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.