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Solar Activity Report for 4/14/05

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  • David
    The last few days have seen G-1 geomagnetic storms in response to a high-speed solar wind stream, and some quite beautiful aurora pictures have been captured
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14 8:27 PM
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      The last few days have seen G-1 geomagnetic storms in response to a
      high-speed solar wind stream, and some quite beautiful aurora pictures
      have been captured in northern Europe, Canada, and the northern US, as
      can be seen here :
      http://www.spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01apr05.htm . The Earth is
      now exiting that solar wind stream, so the activity level should drop
      off. There is a small coronal hole rotating into view, but it doesn't
      look to be big enough to create much activity. There are two small
      sunspot regions visible, but neither look to have the potential to
      generate a significant flare.

      Worthy of note is the position of the sunspots. They are both very
      close to the sun's equator, which is what one would expect to see near
      the bottom of a sunspot cycle. Most sunspots form between +/- 30
      degrees solar latitude. A typical sunspot cycle will see sunspots
      forming near the 30 degree line at the beginning of the cycle, and
      then steadily moving closer to the equator as the cycle continues.
      There is usually some overlap from one cycle to the next. When you
      see the first sunspots start forming at the 30 degree line, you'll
      know that the solar machinery is starting Cycle 24. See this diagram
      for an illustration.

      http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/solar/images/bfly.gif

      Notice how there is a steady increase in sunspot cycle peaks from
      Cycle 11 though Cycle 19, and notice how there appears to be an
      equally steady decline from Cycle 19 to the current cycle, Cycle 23.
      Could we be headed for another Maunder Minimum? Time will tell.
      Incidentally, the Maunder Minimum corresponded quite nicely with the
      Little Ice Age. Food for thought, no?

      The current solar and geomagnetic conditions are :

      NOAA sunspot number : 63
      SFI : 85
      A index : 22
      K index : 3

      Solar wind speed : 484.1 km/sec
      Solar wind density : 2.9 protons/cc
      Solar wind pressure : 1.3 nPa

      IMF : 4.2 nT
      IMF Orientation : 1.7 nT South

      GOES-12 Background X-ray Flux level : A5

      Conditions for the last 24 hours :
      Space weather for the past 24 hours has been minor. Geomagnetic storms
      reaching the G1 level occurred.

      Forecast for the next 24 hours :
      No space weather storms are expected for the next 24 hours.

      Solar activity forecast :
      Solar activity is expected to be at very low to low levels. Region 752
      is complex enough to generate a C-class flare.

      Geeomagnetic acticity forecast :
      The geomagnetic field is expected to be at predominantly quiet to
      unsettled levels. Isolated active conditions are possible on 15 April
      as the geoeffective high speed stream wanes.

      Recent significant solar flare activity :
      None
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