Last major update issued on April 24, 2012 at 04:20 UTC.
[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)
[Solar cycles 21-24 (last update April 1, 2012)]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update April 1, 2012)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (last update April 1, 2012)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports since January 2003 (last update April 1, 2012)]
[POES auroral activity level since October
2009 - updated April 22, 2012]
Annotated geomagnetic activity charts - Carrington rotation 2118 [December 2011 - January 2012] - 2119 [January-February 2012]
[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated June 27, 2011]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to major storm on April 23. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 324 and 413 km/s. A solar wind shock was observed at SOHO at 02:29 UTC, its source was likely one of the CMEs observed on April 19. Initially the disturbance appeared to be weak to moderate, however, after 17h UTC the interplanetary magnetic field has been consistently strongly southwards. This has caused a strong geomagnetic storm. During the 00-03h UTC interval on April 24 the planetary A index reached 156 (Kp 7 - severe storm).
Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 141.8 (increasing 36.2 over the last solar rotation). The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 28 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 28.4). Three hour interval K indices: 24413456 (planetary), 15522544 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux is at the class B6 level.
At midnight UTC the visible solar disk had 11 spotted active regions (in 2K resolution SDO images).
Region 11459 [S16W38] decayed further losing spots and penumbral
Region 11460 [N15W55] decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 11461 [N11W12] was mostly quiet and stable. A filament eruption was observed to the south of the region from 12:29 UTC. Neither LASCO nor initial investigation of STEREO imagery have revealed any significant CME.
Region 11462 [S25W83] displayed little change and was quiet.
Region 11465 [S18E01] is becoming more complex with nearly all umbrae merging into one large penumbra. While there is a significant magnetic delta structure in this penumbra, the region has been surprisingly quiet. A major flare is possible.
Region 11466 [N12E14] developed slowly and quietly.
Spotted active regions not numbered by NOAA/SWPC:
S1598 [N14W20] was quiet and stable.
S1604 [N10E26] reemerged with a few spots. More spots are visible early on April 24.
S1605 [S12W37] decayed slowly and quietly.
New region S1608 [S18E82] rotated partly into view at the southeast limb on April 23. Early on April 24 more spots are visible in a DRI classification.
New region S1609 [S27E28] emerged in the southeast quadrant.
Early on April 24 a new region is rotating into view at the northeast limb.
April 21-23: No obviously Earth directed CMEs were observed in LASCO and STEREO imagery.
Coronal hole history (since October
Compare today's report to the situation one solar rotation ago: 28 days ago 27 days ago 26 days ago
A coronal hole (CH514) in the northern hemisphere was in an Earth facing position on April 21, however, CH514 closed the same day and it is uncertain if there will be any associated disturbance.
The above coronal hole map is based on a method where coronal holes are detected automatically. While the method may need some fine tuning, it has significant advantages over detecting coronal holes manually. The main improvement is the ability to detect coronal holes at and just beyond the solar limbs. Early results using this method for SDO images over a span of several weeks indicate a good match between coronal holes observed over the visible disk and their extent and position at the east and west limbs. Note that the polar coronal holes are easily detected using this method, the extent and intensity of both CHs are consistent with other data sources.
Long distance low and medium frequency (below 2 MHz) propagation along paths north of due west over high and upper middle latitudes is very poor. Propagation on long distance northeast-southwest paths is poor to fair.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to severe storm on April 24 due to CME effects and quiet to unsettled on April 25-26.
|Coronal holes (1)||Coronal mass ejection (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
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.
Click on image for higher resolution image) Compare to the previous day's image
When available the active region map has a coronal hole polarity overlay where red (pink) is negative and blue (blue-green) is positive.
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
|Spot count||Location at midnight||Area||Classification||SDO / HMI 4K continuum
image with magnetic polarity overlay
|Total spot count:||108||127||59|
|Sunspot number:||158||217||149||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted penumbral SN:||153||165||97||(Sum of total spot count + classification weighting for each AR. Classification weighting: X=0, R=3, A/S=5, H/K=10)|
|Relative sunspot number (Wolf number):||95||76||82||k * (sunspot number). k = 0.6 for SWPC, k = 0.35 (changed from 0.45 on March 1, 2011) for STAR SDO 2K, k = 0.55 for STAR SDO 1K|
|Month||Average measured solar flux||International sunspot number (SIDC)||Smoothed sunspot number||Average ap
|2008.07||65.7 (SF minimum)||0.5||2.8 (-0.4)|
|2011.10||137.3||88.0||(60.1 projected, +0.6)||8.28|
|2011.11||153.5||96.7||(61.6 projected, +1.5)||5.55|
|2011.12||141.3||73.0||(64.3 projected, +2.7)||3.78|
|2012.01||132.5||58.3||(67.8 projected, +3.5)||7.15|
|2012.02||106.5||33.1||(71.8 projected, +4.0)||8.81|
|2012.03||114.7||64.2||(73.9 projected, +2.1)||16.08|
|2012.04||110.5 (1)||55.5 (2A) / 72.4 (2B)||(74.9 projected, +1.0)||(9.42)|
1) Running average based on the daily 20:00 UTC observed solar flux value at
2A) Current impact on the monthly sunspot number based on the Boulder (NOAA/SWPC) sunspot number (accumulated daily sunspots / month days). The official SIDC international sunspot number is typically 30-50% lower. 2B) Month average to date.
3) Running average based on the quicklook and definitive Potsdam WDC ap indices. Values in red are based on the definitive international Potsdam WDC ap indices.
This report has been prepared by Jan Alvestad. It is based on analysis of data from whatever sources are available at the time the report is prepared. All time references are to the UTC day. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.
SDO images are courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.