Solar Terrestrial Activity Report

Last major update issued on May 6, 2008 at 04:10 UTC.

[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated daily)]
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)
[Solar cycles 21-23 (last update October 4, 2007)]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22 and 23 (last update October 4, 2007)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 2, 10, 13, 17, 20 and 23 (last update October 4, 2007)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports (last update April 7, 2008)]

Recent activity

The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled on May 5. Solar wind speed ranged between 557 and 639 km/s under the influence of a high speed stream from CH323.

Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 67.6. The planetary A index was 11 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 10.9). Three hour interval K indices: 22302332 (planetary), 23312432 (Boulder).

The background x-ray flux is below the class A1 level.

At midnight the visible solar disk was spotless. The solar flare activity level was very low.

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs)

May 3-5: No partially or fully Earth directed CMEs were observed.

Coronal holes

Coronal hole history (since late October 2002)
Compare today's report to the situation one solar rotation ago: 28 days ago 27 days ago 26 days ago

A coronal hole in the southern hemisphere, CH324, was Earth facing on April 30 - May 2. A small, new coronal hole (CH325) in the northern hemisphere was in an Earth facing position on May 4.

Processed SOHO/EIT 195 image at 00:24 UTC on May 6. The darkest areas on the solar disk are likely coronal holes.

Propagation

Long distance low and medium frequency (below 2 MHz) propagation along paths north of due west over high and upper middle latitudes is poor. Propagation on long distance northeast-southwest paths is poor to fair.

Forecast

The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled on May 6 due to effects from CH324. Mostly quiet conditions are likely on May 7 while a disturbance related to CH325 could  cause some unsettled intervals late on May 7 and on May 8.

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. When the high speed stream has arrived the color changes to green.
2) Effects from a CME are likely to be observed at 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/SWPC. 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 SWPC or where SWPC has observed no spots. SWPC active region numbers in the table below and in the active region map above are the historic SWPC/USAF numbers.

Active region Date numbered SWPC
spot
count
STAR
spot
count
Location at midnight Area Classification Comment
10993 2008.05.04 5   S31E14 0020 BXO spotless
Total spot count: 5 0  
SSN: 15 0  

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)
2007.03 72.2 4.5 10.7 (-0.8)
2007.04 72.4 3.4 9.8 (-0.9)
2007.05 74.4 11.7 8.6 (-1.2)
2007.06 73.7 12.1 7.6 (-1.0)
2007.07 71.6 9.7 6.9 (-0.7)
2007.08 69.1 6.0 6.0 (-0.9)
2007.09 67.1 2.4 5.9 (-0.1)
2007.10 67.4 0.9 6.0 (+0.1)
2007.11 69.6 1.7 (5.7 predicted, -0.3)
2007.12 78.5 10.1 (5.3 predicted, -0.4)
2008.01 74.3 3.4 (5.1 predicted, -0.2)
2008.02 71.1 2.1 (5.4 predicted, +0.3)
2008.03 72.9 9.3 (6.4 predicted, +1.0)
2008.04 70.2 2.9 (7.8 predicted, +1.4)
2008.05 67.9 (1) 0.9 (2) (9.6 predicted, +1.8)

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/SWPC) sunspot number. The official international sunspot number is typically 30-50% lower.

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


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