Check out the ACE-HF propagation software - the latest is version 2.05. ACE-HF is propagation forecasting and modeling for Amateur Radio as well as for Shortwave radio Listening and general HF operation. This software is even used by the military and other clients around the world. This software is developed and maintained by the same engineers that keep VOACAP up-to-date. As a result, this software is the most accurate user interface integrated with VOACAP. CHECK IT OUT, TODAY. This software is the most accurate modeling software available, and is endorsed by NW7US. Read the details to find out why.
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Map, Above: Conditions in the D region of the ionosphere have a dramatic effect on high frequency (HF) communications and low frequency (LF) navigation systems. The global D Region Absorption Predictions (D-RAP) depicts the D region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes.
Note: At times, images may appear broken or missing, when SDO is working on the AIA/HMI instruments.
Planetary A-index (Ap): 6
| Planetary K-index (Kp): 2
Solar Wind: 350 km/s at 18.0 protons/cm3, Bz is -2.0 nT
(Mar 27, 2019 at 0306 UT)
X-ray Solar Flares:
6h hi [none] 24h hi [none]
Background X-ray Level, Last Six Days
Mar 26 2019 :: A0.0
Mar 25 2019 :: A7.2
Mar 24 2019 :: A9.6
Mar 23 2019 :: B1.2
Mar 22 2019 :: B1.7
Mar 21 2019 :: A5.5
What is the difference between the CB and Amateur Radio Services, in the USA? Here are some thoughts on the portrayal of the Amateur Radio Service by the Hit TV Series, NCIS, and a clarification of the difference between CB radio and ham radio.
(Skip to timecode 1:33 to bypass the introductory chat and talk about the headset microphone.)
Here is a video introduction to shortwave / HF amateur radio -- what is it that we amateur radio oprators listen to? If you have not yet been introduced to this world, this is a very basic introduction.
If you are using software utilities such as Ace-HF, that require a "smoothed" sunspot number
(Referred to as the SSN), or, the smoothed 10.7-cm Radio Flux Index,
use the following predicted values in this following table:
Predicted SMOOTHED Sunspot Number And Radio Flux Values
With Expected Ranges
At 0805 UTC, on 9 August 2011, a strong magnitude X6.9 X-ray flare -- the strongest yet in this current solar cycle (Cycle 24) -- erupted on the northwestern solar limb. Here is a HD Movie of the event:
Videos of Interest - Space Weather, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, and more... from the NW7US YouTube Channel. (Click on the small image to launch the video...)
Video: Voyager Finds Magnetic Foam at Solar Systems Edge
Video: Zoom View of Prominence Eruption and X-Ray Flare - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011
Video: X-Ray Flare, Coronal Mass Ejection, Proton Storm - M2.5 Magnitude - June 7 2011 (Close-up of the video, above)
Video: Stunning Close-up View of M3 X-Ray Flare 24 February 2011
Video: On How NCIS TV Show Maligned Amateur Radio Service (Full UHD Version)
What's the difference between CB and amateur (ham) radio?
Video: June 2011 20-meter (14-Mhz) JT65A Coverage Map of NW7US Radio Signal
The NW7US Current Sunspot and Geophysical Activity Report
The observations, prognastications, and comments by NW7US
NW7US is Tomas David Hood, Propagation and Space Weather Columnist
for CQ Communications
More about Background X-rays
The hard X-ray energy present from the wavelengths of 1 to 8 Angstroms provide the most effective ionizing energy throughout all of the ionospheric layers in our atmosphere. The GEOS satellites measure these wavelengths and the resulting measurements are reported as the "background X-ray level" throughout the day. A daily average is reported, as well.
Just like X-ray flares, the background hard X-ray level is measured in watts per square meter (W/m2), reported using the categories, A, B, C, M, and X. These letters are multipliers; each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. Within a class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.
If one records the daily background X-ray levels for the course of a sunspot cycle, one would discover that the background X-ray levels remained at the A class level during the sunspot cycle minumum. During the rise and fall of a solar cycle, the background X-ray energy levels remained mostly in the B range. During peak solar cycle periods, the background energy reached the C and sometimes even M levels.
Armed with this information, can we discover any clues as to the current status of Sunspot Cycle 24? Below is a graph plotting the background hard X-ray energy reported by the GEOS satellites since the end of Sunspot Cycle 22. Clearly, we see a noticeable rise in Cycle 24 activity. We're seeing the energy mostly in the B level more often, supporting the view that Cycle 24 is alive and moving along toward an eventual sunspot cycle peak in several years.
Overall, the monthly average background 'hard' X-ray level is rising (as seen by the following plot), showing a change from deep solar cycle minimum. We are certainly in the rising phase of Sunspot Cycle 24. While it has been a slow up-tick over the last eighteen months, I expect to see a more rapid rise during mid to late 2011.
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
Covering the period: 18 - 24 March 2019
Solar activity was low throughout the period. Region 2736 (N08, L=284, class/area-Eki/420 on 22 Mar) produced multiple C-class events including a C5 flare at 21/0312 UTC. Region 2735 (N03, L=259, class/area-Cro/20 on 19 Mar) provided multiple, low-level, B-class events early in the period before decaying to plage on 22 Mar. An asymmetrical, full-halo CME was observed in SOHO/LASCO coronagraph imagery starting at 20/1100 UTC and was determined to have an earth-directed component. No additional earth-directed CMEs were observed.
No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 19 and 24 Mar with moderate levels observed throughout the remainder of the reporting period.
Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to unsettled levels on 19 Mar with quiet conditions observed throughout the remainder of the period, under a nominal solar wind environment. A sudden impulse summary was issued at 24/2151 UTC for what is believed to be the arrival of the 20 Mar CME mentioned above. A 17 nT deviation was recorded at the Boulder, Colorado magnetometer.
Monthly and smoothed sunspot number - The monthly mean sunspot number (blue) and 13-month smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last five cycles. You can see that this current cycle, Cycle 24, is a weak cycle, compared to the last few.
(Click to see actual size)
Daily and monthly sunspot number (last 13 years)
Daily sunspot number (yellow), monthly mean sunspot number (blue), smoothed monthly sunspot number (red) for the last 13 years and 12-month ahead predictions of the monthly smoothed sunspot number:
SC (red dots) : prediction method based on an interpolation of Waldmeier's standard curves; It is only based on the sunspot number series.
CM (red dashes) : method (from K. Denkmayr and P. Cugnon) combining a regression technique applied to the sunspot number series with the aa geomagnetic index used as a precursor (improved predictions during the minimum phase between solar cycles).
(Click to see actual size)
What is 'Space Weather'? Click on these two information slides to view them in full size:
Active sunspot regions, and plages, identified by SIDC
What is coming
Real Time Solor Wind and Aurora:
On 2019 Jan 15 0951Z: Bz: 1.6 nT
Bx: -1.4 nT | By: -7.7 nT | Total: 7.9 nT
Most recent satellite polar pass:
Centered on // : UTC Aurora Activity Level was at UTC
visit noaa for latest.
This is a video of the simulation from May 27-28, 2011, showing
the Geomagnetic disturbance caused by the solar wind
Outlook: (valid from 1230UT, 26 Mar 2019 until 28 Mar 2019)
26 Mar 2019 10.7-cm Flux: 071 / Ap: 010
27 Mar 2019 10.7-cm Flux: 071 / Ap: 013
28 Mar 2019 10.7-cm Flux: 070 / Ap: 008
Solar Flares: Quiet conditions (<50% probability of C-class flares) Geo-Disturbance: Quiet (A<20 and K<4) Solar Proton Event: Quiet
Comment from the SIDC (RWC Belgium): Solar activity is low with only few B-class flares reported during last 24 hours. Since there are presently no active regions observed on the visible side of the solar disc, we expect that even number of B-class flares will decrease in the coming hours. There were no Earth directed CMEs reported during last 24 hours and the solar protons remained at the background level.
Three Day Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
(as of 2200Z on 07 Dec 2014)
Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flares on days one, two, and three (08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec).
The geomagnetic field is expected to be at quiet to minor storm levels on day one (08 Dec), quiet to active levels on day two (09 Dec) and quiet levels on day three (10 Dec).
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity
25 March - 20 April 2019
Solar activity is expected to be very low between 25 Mar-07 Apr. Low levels are expected between 08-20 Apr due to the return of Region 2736.
No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.
The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 27 Mar-07 Apr with normal to moderate levels expected throughout the remainder of the outlook period.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach active levels on 27-28 Mar and 12 Apr due to influence from multiple, recurrent CH HSSs. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected throughout the remainder of the outlook period.
Data and images courtesy of IPS Australia, NOAA, NASA, SWPC, SIDC
Layout, analysis, commentary, and certain forecasts and content is Copyright, 2018, Tomas David Hood (NW7US), all rights reserved.
No part, except for the space weather 'banners', may be copied without express permission.