Solar Terrestrial Activity Report

Activity chart

Last major update issued on January 9, 2016 at 06:35 UT.

Charts (* = updated daily) Data and archive
  Solar wind (*) Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (*)
  Electron fluence (*) Archived daily reports and monthly data from 2003.01 (January 1, 2016)
Solar cycle Solar cycles 23-24 (January 1, 2016) Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (April 5, 2007)
  Cycle 24 progress (January 1, 2016) Noon SDO sunspot count 1K Reference: 4K (large file) (*)
  Solar cycles 1-24 (July 17, 2015) POES auroral activity level October 2009 - December 2012
  Comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (January 1, 2016) 3rd SSN Workshop, Tucson, 2013
  Comparison of cycles 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (January 1, 2016) 4th SSN Workshop, Locarno, 2014
  Solar polar fields vs. solar cycles (December 27, 2015)  

Recent activity

The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled on January 8 under the decreasing influence of a high speed stream from CH708. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 438 and 550 km/s.

Solar flux at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 108.5 (decreasing 8.2 over the last solar rotation). The 90 day 10.7 flux at 1 AU was 107.4. The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 6 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 6.0). Three hour interval K indices: 12123111 (planetary), 13233221 (Boulder).

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

At the time of counting spots (see image time), spots were observed in 13 active regions using 2K resolution (SN: 244) and 10 active regions using 1K resolution (SN: 143) SDO images on the visible solar disk.

Region 12476 [S10W29] gained a few tiny spots.
Region 12477 [N11W18] was quiet and stable.
Region 12478 [N06W26] developed as new flux emerged.
Region 12480 [N03E44] decayed in the trailing spot section while the large leading penumbra gained area.
Region 12481 [S19W68] gained area and was quiet.
New region 12482 [N02W08] emerged on January 7 and was numbered the next day by SWPC.
New region 12483 [N17E45] emerged on January 7 and developed further the next day when it was numbered by SWPC.

Spotted regions not numbered (or interpreted differently) by SWPC:
S4997 [S08W04] was quiet and stable.
S5006 [S23W55] reemerged with a tiny spot.
S5012 [N10E31] was quiet and stable.
New region S5015 [S01W20] emerged with a tiny spot.
New region S5016 [S02E04] was observed with tiny spots.
New region S5017 [S35W55] emerged with a tiny spot.

C2+ flares:

Magnitude Peak time (UT) Location AR Recorded by Comment
           

Flare activity (SDO/EVE/ESP XRS-B proxy)

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs)

January 6-8: No obviously Earth directed CMEs were observed in available LASCO imagery.

Coronal holes

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

A recurrent northern hemisphere coronal hole (CH709) will likely rotate across the central meridian on January 9.

Propagation

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

Forecast

The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet on January 9-11. There's a chance of unsettled to active conditions on January12-13 due to effects from CH709.

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 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: 0-30% probability, Yellow: 30-70% probability, Red: 70-100% probability.

Active solar regions


(Click on image for 2K resolution). 4K resolution. Compare to the previous day's image.
As of December 12, 2015, the active region maps are based on image products from semi-automated sunspot counting at 4K resolution.

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
detected
Spot count Location at midnight Area Classification SDO / HMI 4K continuum
image with magnetic polarity overlays
Comment
SWPC Magnetic
(SDO)
SWPC STAR Current Previous
2K 1K
12476 2015.12.31
2016.01.01
  10 2 S09W36 0010 AXX BXO

location: S10W29

12477 2016.01.01 1 5 2 N12W21 0050 HAX CAO area: 0080

location: N11W18

12479 2016.01.01
2016.01.04
      N11W51            
S4997 2016.01.01   19 2 S08W04 0035   BXO images/AR_S4997_20160108_2345.png images/AR_S4997_20160107_2345.png  
12478 2016.01.02 3 14 4 N07W28 0010 BXO DRI location: N06W26

area: 0050

S5002 2016.01.02       S08W53            
S5004 2016.01.04       S22W26            
S5005 2016.01.05       S15E35            
S5006 2016.01.05   1   S23W55 0001   AXX    
12480 2016.01.06 6 21 12 N03E43 0180 DAO EKO

area: 0360

S5008 2016.01.06       N07W48          
12481 2016.01.07 5 11 5 S18W69 0080 DAO DAO area: 0250
12483 2016.01.07
2016.01.08
3 15 7 N16E44 0010 BXO DRI area: 0070
12482 2016.01.07
2016.01.08
2 10 7 N03W10 0010 BXO CRI area: 0025
S5012 2016.01.07   3 1 N10E31 0011   AXX  
S5013 2016.01.07       S33W11          
S5015 2016.01.08   1   S01W20 0001   AXX    
S5016 2016.01.08   3 1 S02E04 0008   AXX    
S5017 2016.01.08   1   S33W55 0002   AXX    
Total spot count: 20 114 43  
Sunspot number: 80 244 143  (total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)
Weighted SN: 35 143 72  (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): 88 134 122 k * (sunspot number)
As of July 1, 2015: k = 1.1 for SWPC, k = 0.55 for MSN 2K, k = 0.85 for MSN 1K (MSN=Magnetic Sunspot Number)

Monthly solar cycle data

Month Average solar flux International sunspot number
(WDC-SILSO) (4)
Smoothed sunspot number (4) Average ap
(3)
Measured 1 AU
2014.02 170.3
(cycle peak)
166.3 146.1 (cycle peak) 110.5 (+1.2) 10.70
2014.04 143.9 144.8 112.5 116.4 (+2.1) (solar max) 7.88
2014.11 154.8 151.4 103.6 94.7 (-2.6) 9.33
2014.12 158.7 153.8 112.9 92.2 (-2.5) 11.24
2015.01 141.9 137.3 93.0 89.3 (-2.9) 9.46
2015.02 129.1 126.0 66.7 86.1 (-3.2) 9.92
2015.03 125.9 124.6 54.5 82.2 (-3.9) 16.14
2015.04 128.8 129.7 75.3 78.8 (-3.4) 10.73
2015.05 120.0 122.6 88.8 76.0 (-2.8) 8.29
2015.06 122.3 126.1 66.5 72.0 (-4.0) 13.15
2015.07 107.0 110.8 66.4 (68.3 projected, -3.7) 8.83
2015.08 105.4 108.0 64.6 (66.3 projected, -2.0) 14.58
2015.09 101.7 102.7 78.1 (66.3 projected, +0.0) 15.78
2015.10 104.1 103.3 61.7 (65.9 projected, -0.4) 14.02
2015.11 109.3 106.9 63.2 (63.8 projected, -2.1) 12.09
2015.12 113.1 109.5 57.7 (62.1 projected, -1.7) 14.29
2016.01 (100.4)   13.1 (2A) / 50.8 (2B) / 62.6 (2C) (60.4 projected, -1.7) (9.7)

1) Running average based on the daily 20:00 UTC observed solar flux value at 2800 MHz.
2A) Current impact on the monthly sunspot number based on the Boulder (NOAA/SWPC) sunspot number (accumulated daily sunspots / month days).
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.
4) Updated to new data set from WDC-SILSO on July 1, 2015

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 Universal Time. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

SDO images are courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.