Last major update issued on March 18, 2013 at 04:50 UTC.
[Solar and geomagnetic data - last month (updated
[Solar wind and electron fluence charts (updated daily)]
[Solar cycles 23-24 (last update March 1, 2013)] [Cycle 24 progress (last update March 2, 2013) ]
[Solar cycles 1-20]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 21, 22, 23 and 24 (last update March 1, 2013)]
[Graphical comparison of cycles 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24 (last update March 1, 2013)]
[Historical solar and geomagnetic data charts 1954-2006 (last update April 5, 2007)]
[Archived reports since January 2003 (last update March 1, 2013)]
[POES auroral activity level since October
2009 - updated January 26, 2013]
[Solar polar fields vs solar cycles - updated February 3, 2013]
[Presentation 3rd SSN Workshop, Tucson, 2013 (pdf)]
The geomagnetic field was quiet to major storm on March 17. Solar wind speed at SOHO ranged between 358 and 780 km/s. A strong solar wind shock was observed at 05:33 UTC at SOHO, the arrival of the halo CME observed on March 15.
Solar flux measured at 20h UTC on 2.8 GHz was 125.7 (increasing 13.3 over the last solar rotation). The Potsdam WDC planetary A index was 63 (STAR Ap - based on the mean of three hour interval ap indices: 63.0). Three hour interval K indices: 23666666 (planetary), 11665644 (Boulder).
The background x-ray flux was at the class B4 level.
At midnight UTC the visible solar disk had 12 spotted active regions (in 2K resolution SDO images).
Region 11691 [N11W82] decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 11692 [N08W29] was mostly unchanged and quiet.
Region 11694 [N15W25] was quiet and stable.
Region 11695 [N09W07] developed slowly and quietly.
Region 11696 [N05W50] decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 11697 [N16W60] decayed slowly and quietly.
Region 11698 [S19W72] has polarity intermixing and could produce C flares and maybe a minor M class event.
New region 11699 [S16W46] emerged on March 16 and developed further on March 17 when it was numbered by SWPC.
New region 11700 [S12E57] rotated into view on March 15 and got an NOAA number two days later.
Spotted regions not numbered by SWPC:
S2297 [N14W35] reemerged with penumbra spots.
New region S2301 [S13E37] emerged with a penumbra spot.
New region S2302 [N23W64] emerged with a penumbra spot.
March 17: A halo CME was observed in LASCO imagery late in the day.
STEREO-A displays a CME starting at 15:54 UTC with the major part of the
ejection occurring a few hours later (when it was observed in STEREO-B as well).
SDO imagery displays a complex sequence of events involving large parts of the
visible northern hemisphere. The most significant event was a filament eruption
close to AR S2302 starting near 16:43 UTC
March 16: No obviously Earth directed CMEs were observed in LASCO and STEREO imagery.
March 15: A symmetrical full halo CME was observed after the M1.1 LDE in AR 11692. The CME reached Earth on March 17.
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 trans equatorial coronal hole (CH561) has been forming over the last days and will be in an Earth facing position on March 18-19.
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 fair.
The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to active on March 18 and quiet to unsettled on March 19. March 20 could see the arrival of the CME observed on March 17 and subsequent unsettled to minor storm conditions. Quiet to active conditions are possible on March 21-22 due to effects from CH561.
|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 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:||46||87||45|
|Sunspot number:||126||207||135||(total spot count + 10 * number of spotted regions)|
|Weighted SN:||74||125||83||(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):||76||72||74||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
|2012.09||122.9||61.4||(57.9 projected, -0.2)||8.07|
|2012.10||123.3||53.3||(57.0 projected, -0.9)||9.97|
|2012.11||121.3||61.4||(56.1 projected, -0.9)||7.08|
|2012.12||108.6||40.8||(54.9 projected, -1.2)||3.44|
|2013.01||127.1||62.9||(53.6 projected, -1.3)||4.69|
|2013.02||104.3||38.0||(52.5 projected, -1.1)||6.11|
|2013.03||118.2 (1)||52.8 (2A) / 96.4 (2B) / 53.5 (2C)||(51.5 projected, -1.0)||(10.55)|
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.