Solar Terrestrial Activity Report

Last major update issued on November 15, 2003 at 05:25 UTC. Minor update posted at 14:08 UTC.

[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated daily)]
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)]
[Solar cycles 21-23 (last update November 4, 2003)]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22 and 23 (last update November 4, 2003)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 2, 10, 13, 17, 20 and 23 (last update November 4, 2003)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2003 (last update October 15, 2003)]
[Archived reports (last update November 12, 2003)]

Recent activity

The geomagnetic field was unsettled to minor storm on November 14. Solar wind speed ranged between 569 and 719 km/sec under the influence of a high speed stream from coronal hole CH66.

Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 98.9. The planetary A index was 37 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 37.0).
Three hour interval K indices: 55555343 (planetary), 65455343 (Boulder).

The background x-ray flux is at the class B2 level.

At midnight there were 4 spotted regions on the visible disk. Solar flare activity was low. A total of 4 C class events were recorded during the day.

Region 10501 developed slowly adding a small spot ahead of the large northern penumbra as well as a few small spots between the two dominant penumbrae. There are magnetic delta structures in both main penumbrae. Major flares are possible. Flares: C1.0 at 10:42, C1.4 at 12:57, C1.4 at 13:59, C1.7 at 14:15 UTC.
New region 10502 emerged early on November 13 and was numbered the next day by SEC. The region decayed slowly on November 14.

Spotted regions not numbered by NOAA/SEC:
[S302] This region emerged on November 14 in the northwest quadrant. Slow decay was observed late in the day. Location at midnight: N05W22.
[S303] A new region emerged in the northeast quadrant near the central meridian on November 14. While a penumbra had developed in the afternoon and early evening, the region then decayed and had only a single small spot left by midnight. Location at midnight: N12W01.

Comment added at 14:08 UTC on November 15: A moderate solar wind shock was recorded at ACE near 05:20 UTC today. Solar wind speed increased abruptly to near 750 km/sec. The source of this shock was probably the early arrival of the CME expected to arrive late today or early tomorrow, this CME left the sun on November 13.

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs)

November 14: No partly or fully earth directed CMEs observed.

November 13: A bright, very wide, halo CME was observed in LASCO C3 images beginning at 10:20 UTC. The source of this CME was an M1 long duration event in region 10501. While the CME was impressive over the east limbs, only a faint front was visible over the west limbs. The CME could reach the Earth on November 16, however, only a weak sideways impact is expected. The CME is likely to be embedded in a high speed stream and could be hard to detect when it arrives. 

November 12: A full halo CME was observed in LASCO C3 images beginning at 11:18 UTC. The distribution of the ejected material indicates that the source was about 5 days behind the northeast limb. This is the expected position of old region 10488.

Coronal holes

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 well defined recurrent trans equatorial coronal hole (CH66) was in a geoeffective position on November 9-14. The coronal hole is best defined in the easternmost and westernmost parts and has increased its area during the last solar rotation.

Processed SOHO/EIT 284 image at 19:06 UTC on November 14. The darkest areas on the solar disk are likely coronal holes.


The geomagnetic field is expected to be unsettled to minor storm on November 15-17 due to a high speed stream from coronal hole CH66. A CME impact is possible late on Nov.15 or early on Nov.16 and could cause an increase in geomagnetic disturbance levels.

Long distance low frequency (below 2 MHz) propagation along east-west paths over high and upper middle latitudes is very poor to useless. Propagation along long distance north-south paths is poor. [Trans Atlantic propagation conditions are currently monitored every night on 1470 kHz. Dominant station tonight: Radio Cristal del Uruguay].

Coronal holes (1) Coronal mass ejections (2) M and X class flares (3)
Coronal hole indicator CME indicator M and X class flare indicator

1) Effects from a coronal hole could reach Earth within the next 5 days. When the high speed stream has arrived the color changes to green.
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.

Active solar regions (Recent map)

Compare to the previous day's image.

Data for all numbered solar regions according to the Solar Region Summary provided by NOAA/SEC. 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
10500 2003.11.09     S07W87     plage
10501 2003.11.13 11 14 N04E61 0340 DKI gamma-delta
classification was DKC
at midnight
10502 2003.11.14 3 2 N05E41 0010 BXO formerly region S301
S302 emerged on
  2 N05W22 0010 BXO  
S303 emerged on
  1 N12W01 0000 AXX  
Total spot count: 14 19
SSN: 34 59

Monthly solar cycle data

Month Average solar
flux at Earth
International sunspot number Smoothed sunspot number
2000.04 184.2 125.5 120.8
cycle 23 sunspot max.
2000.07 202.3 170.1 119.8
2001.12 235.1 132.2 114.6 (-0.9)
2002.10 167.0 97.5 90.5 (-4.1)
2002.11 168.7 95.5 85.2 (-5.3)
2002.12 157.2 80.8 82.0 (-3.2)
2003.01 144.0 79.7 80.9 (-1.1)
2003.02 124.5 46.0 78.5 (-2.4)
2003.03 131.4 61.1 74.1 (-4.4)
2003.04 126.4 60.0 70.3 (-3.8)
2003.05 115.7 55.2 (66.8 predicted, -3.5)
2003.06 129.3 77.4 (63.0 predicted, -3.8)
2003.07 127.7 85.0 (59.3 predicted, -3.7)
2003.08 122.1 72.7 (56.3 predicted, -3.0)
2003.09 112.2 48.8 (54.3 predicted, -2.0)
2003.10 151.7 65.6 (51.6 predicted, -2.7)
2003.11 122.5 (1) 30.8 (2) (48.9 predicted, -2.7)

1) Running average based on the daily 20:00 UTC observed solar flux value at 2800 MHz.
2) Unofficial, accumulated value based on the Boulder (NOAA/SEC) sunspot number. The official international sunspot number is typically 30-50% less.

This report has been prepared by Jan Alvestad. It is based partly on my own observations and analysis, and partly on data from sources noted in solar links. All time references are to the UTC day. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

[DX-Listeners' Club]