Last major update issued on December 19, 2012 at 04:10 UTC.
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[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated December 9, 2012]
The geomagnetic field was quiet on December 18. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 445 and 576 km/s under the influence of a high speed coronal hole stream.
Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 116.2 (decreasing 24.2 over the last solar rotation). The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 5 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 5.3). Three hour interval K indices: 12222201 (planetary), 12233211 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux was at the class B4 level.
At midnight UTC the visible solar disk had 5 spotted active regions (in 2K resolution SDO images).
Region 11633 [S07E28] lost a few spots and decayed slowly. The leader
spot split into two penumbrae.
Region 11634 [S13E30] was quiet and stable.
New region 11635 [N10E76] rotated into view. The region seems to be fairly simple structured magnetically.
Spotted regions not numbered by NOAA/SWPC:
S2116 [N11W05] was quiet and stable.
New region S2117 [S13E42] emerged to the east of AR 11634.
December 16-18: 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
No obvious coronal holes are currently in or near Earth facing positions.
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 poor. Propagation on long distance northeast-southwest paths is poor to fair.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet on December 19-22.
|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. 0.5k 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
|5||N23W89||0080||DSO||rotated out of view|
|Total spot count:||26||42||16|
|Sunspot number:||66||92||66||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted SN:||51||62||36||(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):||40||32||36||k * (sunspot number). k = 0.6 for SWPC, k = 0.35 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
|2011.11||153.5 (cycle max)||96.7 (cycle max)||61.1 (+1.2)||5.55|
possible cycle 24 max
|2012.06||119.6||64.5||(59.5 projected, -2.2)||10.08|
|2012.07||133.9||66.5||(58.8 projected, -0.7)||13.90|
|2012.08||115.4||63.1||(60.1 projected, +1.3)||7.96|
|2012.09||122.9||61.5||(61.1 projected, +1.0)||8.07|
|2012.10||123.3||53.3||(60.7 projected, -0.4)||9.97|
|2012.11||121.3||61.4||(60.0 projected, -0.7)||7.08|
|2012.12||106.4 (1)||34.3 (2A) / 59.1 (2B) / 45.4 (2C)||(59.3 projected, -0.7)||(3.90)|
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) Boulder SN current month average to date. 2C) STAR SDO 1K Wolf number 30 day average.
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.