Last major update issued on December 4, 2011 at 05:30 UTC.
[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)
[Solar cycles 21-24 (last update December 1, 2011)] - new cycle peak projection
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update December 1, 2011)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (last update December 1, 2011)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports since January 2003 (last update December 2, 2011)]
[POES auroral activity level since October
2009 - updated December 2, 2011]
Annotated geomagnetic activity charts - Carrington rotation 2114 [August-September 2011] - 2115 [September-October 2011]
[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated June 27, 2011]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled on December 3. Solar wind speed ranged between 359 and 481 km/s.
Solar flux at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was estimated at 160 (decreasing 16.7 over the last solar rotation). The planetary A index was 9 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 8.8). Three hour interval K indices: 21231223 (planetary), 20232232 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux is at the class B7 level.
At midnight UTC the visible solar disk had 12 spotted regions (in 2K resolution SDO images).
Region 11358 [N22W62] developed as new spots emerged in the eastern
part of the region.
Region 11361 [N19W46] decayed slowly and was quiet.
Region 11362 [N08W03] displayed little change and was quiet.
Region 11363 [S17E15] was quiet and stable.
Region 11364 [N20E23] was quiet and stable.
Region 11365 [N20E03] developed quickly and could produce C flares and maybe a minor M class flare.
New region 11366 [N18E66] rotated into view at the northeast limb on December 2 and was numbered the next day by SWPC.
Spotted regions not reported by NOAA/SWPC:
[S1338] emerged in the northeast quadrant on Nov.26, became spotless, then reemerged on December 2. Location at midnight: N16W34
[S1342] rotated into view at the southeast limb on Nov.28. The region developed quickly on Dec.1-3 and could produce M class flares, maybe even an X class event. There's a weak magnetic delta structure in the northern part of a central penumbra. Location at midnight: S22E19.
[S1343] emerged in the southeast quadrant on November 29, became spotless and reemerged on Dec.2. Location at midnight: S14E04
[S1344] emerged in the northeast quadrant on November 30. Location at midnight: N18W15
[S1348] emerged in the northwest quadrant on December 3. Location at midnight: N15W64
December 1-3: No obviously Earth directed CMEs observed.
Coronal hole history (since late 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 near potentially geoeffective positions.
The above coronal hole map is based on a new method where coronal holes are detected automatically. The method may need some fine tuning, however, 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 the new method, the extent and intensity of both holes 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 fair to good.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet on December 4-6.
|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
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
SWPC includes S1342 in this region
|Total spot count:||68||158|
|Sunspot number:||138||278||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted penumbral SN:||108||203||(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):||83||125||k * (sunspot number). k = 0.6 for SWPC. k = 0.45 (changed from 0.33 on Nov.1) for STAR SDO|
|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)|
|2010.10||81.6||23.5||23.2 (+3.6)||6.07 / 6.27|
|2010.11||82.5||21.5||26.5 (+3.3)||4.80 / 5.50|
|2010.12||84.2||14.4||28.8 (+2.3)||3.41 / 4.35|
|2011.01||83.6||19.1||31.0 (+2.2)||4.32 / 5.51|
|2011.02||94.6||29.4||33.4 (+2.4)||5.41 / 6.44|
|2011.03||115.0||56.2||36.9 (+3.5)||7.79 / 8.18|
|2011.04||112.6||54.4||41.8 (+4.9)||9.71 / 8.83|
|2011.05||95.8||41.6||47.6 (+5.8)||9.18 / 8.94|
|2011.06||95.8||37.0||(53.7 projected, +6.1)||8.96 / 8.06|
|2011.07||94.2||43.9||(60.0 projected, +6.3)||9.14 / 8.16|
|2011.08||101.7||50.6||(65.5 projected, +5.5)||8.16 / 7.26|
|2011.09||133.8||78.0||(68.8 projected, +3.3)||12.80 / 12.27|
|2011.10||137.3||88.0||(72.3 projected, +3.5)||7.52|
|2011.11||153.5||96.7||(76.6 projected, +4.3)||4.58|
|2011.12||156.5 (1)||10.7 (2A) / 111.0 (2B)||(82.1 projected, +5.5)||(6.71)|
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 preliminary daily SWPC ap indices. Values in red are based on the official NGDC 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.