Before I begin today's report, I'd like to post a poem that's near and
dear to pilots' hearts everywhere. The Columbia astronauts gave up
their lives doing what they loved to do...fly.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split
clouds - and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of - wheeled
and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung my
eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue I've topped the windswept
heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high untresspassed
sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr., RCAF Flight Lieutenant, September 3, 1941
(Officer Magee was killed in a accidental mid-air collision over
England on December 11, 1941, at the age of 19.)
Today's Solar Activity Report is dedicated to the memory of the Space
Shuttle Columbia and her dedicated, gallant, and brave crew. May they
** Aurora Watch In Effect **
As predicted, the Earth was struck by a full-halo Coronal Mass
Ejection which came from the dissapearing filament that was seen on
1/31. The solar wind speed remains elevated, and on-and-off
geomagnetic storm conditions have been observed since the CME's
arrival yesterday. At one time, the geomagnetic storm level reached
the G-2 (moderate)category, although the geomagetic field has calmed
down a bit for the time being. Nevertheless, with the increased solar
wind speed and density, more activity is a distinct possibility, and
an aurora watch is in effect. In fact, some quite impressive aurora
have already been seen and photographed over Alaska, as can be seen
Skywatchers should remain on the lookout for aurora tonight. The
nearly new moon should make faint aurora easoer to spot. Only two
numbered sunspot regions are visible on the solar disk tonight. One
of them, region 276, does have at least an isolated chance of
producing an M-class flare. There is also a coronal hole that has
rotated into an Earth-pointing position. Look for the high speed
solar wind gusts from it to arrive on or about the 4th.
The current solar and geomagnmetic conditions are :
NOAA sunspot number : 61
SFI : 127
A index : 34
K index : 4
Solar wind speed : 473.1 km/sec
Solar wind density : 7.6 protons/cc
Solar wind pressure : 2.9 nPa
IMF : 7.2 nT
IMF Orientation : 0.5 nT South
Conditions for the last 24 hours :
Space weather for the past 24 hours has been moderate. Geomagnetic
storms reaching the G2 level occurred.
Forecast for the next 24 hours :
Space weather for the next 24 hours is expected to be minor.
Geomagnetic storms reaching the G1 level are expected.
Solar activity forecast :
Solar activity is expected to be mostly low, but there is a fair
chance for an isolated M-class event from Region 276 sometime during
the next three days.
Geomagnetic activity forecast :
The geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly unsettled to active
during the next 24 hours, but there will probably be some periods of
minor storm levels as the current disturbance persists partway into
the first day. A decrease to mostly unsettled is expected for the
second day. An increase to unsettled to active is anticipated on the
third day in response to a favorably positioned coronal hole.
Recent significant solar flare activity :
01-Feb-2003 0905Z M1.2