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Solar Actvity Report for 11/4/03

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  • David
    ** S-2 Solar Radiation Storm In Progress ** ** Aurora Watch In Effect ** (Today s solar activity report is dedicated to my Mother. Today would ve been her
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2003
      ** S-2 Solar Radiation Storm In Progress **
      ** Aurora Watch In Effect **

      (Today's solar activity report is dedicated to my Mother. Today
      would've been her birthday. She went home to be with Jesus on July
      11, 1996. Happy Birthday, Mom!)

      First, I'll start with some unfinished business from my last report
      before I get to the big story for today. The CME kicked off by the
      X-8 flare of Sunday impacted the Earth's magnetosphere earlier today.
      The Interplanetary Magnetic Field held firmly to a north-pointing
      orientation, so the geomagnetic activity wasn't as strong as it
      could've been. Nevertheless, G-3 (strong) geomagnetic storm
      conditions were briefly observed, and I wouldn't be surprised if some
      more aurora sightings are reported. Now for the big story. Sunspot
      region 486 is just about to rotate our of view over the western limb
      of the solar disk. Before it departed, however, it got off a parting
      shot, and what a shot it was. In fact, it was probably the strongest
      solar flare ever recorded. The GOES satellites X-ray detectors
      saturate at about the X-17.4 level. However, today's flare held the
      detectors at saturation for a full 11 minutes, indicating that it was
      much stronger than that. The last time the GOES detectors were
      saturated was in April of 2001, when a flare that was eventually
      estimated at X-20 occurred. There is evidence to suggest that today's
      flare was even stronger. It will be tomorrow at the earliest before
      the official estimates are published, so stay tuned. The flare
      triggered a virtually complete short-wave radio blackout in North
      America, and also an S-3 solar radiation storm. Needless to say, it
      produced a huge CME. Due to sunspot region 486's position, however,
      we on Earth should only receive a gentle glancing blow from it, and
      the effects should be relatively light. Expect to see isolated minor
      geomagnetic storm conditions on Wednesday because of today's CME
      arrival, and the possibility of more storm conditions on Thursday as a
      result of the CME from today's historic flare.

      The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :

      NOAA sunspot number : 79
      SFI : 168
      A index : 22
      K index : 2

      Solar wind speed : 585.6 km/sec
      Solar wind density : 1.8 protons/cc
      Solar wind pressure : 1.0 nPa

      IMF : 5.7 nT
      IMF Orientation : 5.7 nT North

      Conditions for the last 24 hours :
      Space weather for the past 24 hours has been severe. Geomagnetic
      storms reaching the G3 level occurred. Solar radiation storms reaching
      the S2 level occurred. Radio blackouts reaching the R4 level occurred.

      Forecast for the next 24 hours :
      Space weather for the next 24 hours is expected to be strong.
      Geomagnetic storms reaching the G1 level are expected. Solar radiation
      storms reaching the S2 level are expected. Radio blackouts reaching
      the R3 level are expected.

      Solar activity forecast :
      Solar activity is expected to be at high levels. Region 486 is still
      capable of producing an isolated major flare even though it will have
      rotated off the visible disk throughout day one. Days two and three
      may see moderate levels.

      Geomagnetic activity forecast :
      The geomagnetic field is expected to be at predominantly unsettled to
      active levels. Isolated minor storm conditions are possible due during
      day one due to the elevated wind speeds from the shock passage from
      earlier today. Day two's activity may stay enhanced due to a glancing
      blow from the X17 (plus) flare from today. The greater than 10 MeV
      proton fluxes are currently above alert levels and are expected to be
      further enhanced due to today's X17 (plus) event. The greater than 100
      MeV fluxes are also expected to rise above alert levels early on day
      one of the period due aforementioned activity.

      Recent significant solar flare activity :

      05-Nov-2003 0241Z M1.6
      04-Nov-2003 1953Z X20+
      04-Nov-2003 1349Z M1.1
      04-Nov-2003 1022Z M3.0
      04-Nov-2003 0556Z M2.6
      03-Nov-2003 1532Z M3.9
      03-Nov-2003 0955Z X3.9
      03-Nov-2003 0130Z X2.7
      02-Nov-2003 1725Z X8.3
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