Last major update issued on May 4, 2014 at 06:50 UTC.
[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)]
[Solar cycles 23-24 (last update May 1, 2014)] [Cycle 24 progress (last update May 1, 2014) ]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update May 1, 2014)]
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[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports since January 2003 (last update May 1, 2014)]
[POES auroral activity level October
2009 - December 2012]
[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated April 17, 2014]
[Presentation 3rd SSN Workshop, Tucson, 2013 (pdf)]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled on May 3. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 271 and 381 km/s. A weak solar wind shock was observed at SOHO at 16:50 UTC, likely the arrival of the CME observed on April 30.
Solar flux at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 132.6 (decreasing 8.3 over the last solar rotation). The 90 day 10.7 flux at 1 AU was 151.6. The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 6 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 5.8). Three hour interval K indices: 11010233 (planetary), 10011222 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux is at the class B5 level.
At the time of counting spots (see image time), spots were observed in 11 active regions in 2K resolution (SN: 279) and 10 active regions in 1K resolution (SN: 183) SDO images on the visible solar disk.
Region 12047 [S17W40] produced 2 low level C flares
and decayed losing penumbral area.
Region 12049 [S07W07] was mostly quiet and stable.
Region 12050 [N12W05] was quiet and stable.
Region 12051 [S10W51] has several magnetic delta structures, one of them fairly strong. A major flare is possible.
Region 12052 [S11E36] was mostly quiet and stable.
New region 12053 [N10E53] emerged with several spots.
Spotted regions not numbered (or interpreted differently) by SWPC:
S3374 [S12W25] was quiet and stable.
S3380 [N10E47] was quiet and stable.
New region S3384 [S10E78] rotated into view.
New region S3385 [N10E71] rotated into view.
New region S3386 [S18E38] emerged early in the day with penumbra spots and decayed during the latter half of the day.
May 1-3: 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 small coronal hole (CH614) in the northern hemisphere rotated across the central meridian on May 2. A small southern hemisphere coronal hole (CH615) will likely rotate to an Earth facing position on May 4.
Long distance low and medium frequency (below 2 MHz) propagation along paths north of due west over upper middle latitudes is poor. Propagation on long distance northeast-southwest paths is fair to good.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to active on May 4 due to CME effects. On May 5-6 there's a chance of weak effects (unsettled intervals) due to a stream from CH614.
|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: 0-30% probability, Yellow: 30-70% probability, Red: 70-100% probability.
(Click on image for 2K resolution) 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 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:||61||169||83|
|Sunspot number:||121||279||183||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted SN:||101||212||126||(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):||73||98||101||k * (sunspot number). k = 0.6 for SWPC, k = 0.35 for MSN 2K, k = 0.55 for MSN 1K (MSN=Magnetic Sunspot Number)|
|Month||Average solar flux||International sunspot number
|Smoothed sunspot number||Average ap
|2013.11||148.3||145.1||77.6||(75.6 projected, +0.6)||5.68|
|2013.12||147.7||143.1||90.3||(76.6 projected, +1.0)||4.68|
|2014.01||157.4||152.4||82.0||(77.6 projected, +1.0)||5.44|
|166.3||102.8 (cycle peak)||(77.4 projected, -0.2)||10.70|
|2014.03||149.9||148.5||92.2||(77.9 projected, +0.5)||4.88|
|2014.04||143.9||144.8||84.7||(77.0 projected, -0.9)||7.8|
|2014.05||131.2 (1)||10.5 (2A) / 108.3 (2B) / 95.9 (2C)||(74.4 projected, -2.6)||(4.4)|
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 WDC-SILSO 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 GFZ Potsdam WDC ap indices.
This report has been prepared by Jan Alvestad. It is based on the 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.