The M+G+R Foundation

Solar Activity Monitor





PURPOSE

The purpose of this page is to keep our readers informed about electromagnetic space events as well as geomagnetic storms within our own planet.

The reason that this is important is because our 21st century day to day life depends on electricity and magnetism manifested in one way or another. Think of this as equivalent to living by the seashore of a Caribbean country and having, as we all do, at our fingertips the official, and continuously updated, hurricane reports (1).


SUMMARIZED

The following triple graph reports on three key aspects (indexes) of the Solar Activity. Even if you do not completely understand the technical details of the three indexes reported in the graph that you may be visiting regularly, we recommend....

- first, to get acquainted with it and become familiar with the usual levels on most of the days; the usual are green levels, but there may be events ("storms") in different levels (yellow/orange/red) at different times thrughout the year;

- second, that if one or more of the three indexes appear out of the green level for a few days in a row, or if they jump to the orange or red level at any one day, do not become alarmed immediately. Instead, compare the out of line levels that caught your attention with the average frequency of yellow/orange/red peaks expected according to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center at their Reference Tables.

For example, according to the NOAA Reference Tables, the "Geomagnetic Activity (Kp index)" happens to attain peaks in "G3" level, on the average, 12 days yearly. Therefore, it would only be alarming if, for example, said "Kp index" had peaks in "G3" level five days in a row.

The current state of affairs....

https://services.swpc.noaa.gov/images/swx-overview-small.gif SAM-explanation.gif


If you are interested in a brief, but technical, explanation of the details, you can read the following section.


DETAILS

The following graphs, also published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), individually report the same above-mentioned key items but with greater details [please note that the color codes are different than those used in the triple graph above]:


Solar X-Ray Flux (Flare Class)



Solar X-ray Flux is very important in tracking solar flares. Large X-ray bursts cause short wave fades. Solar flares can also trigger geomagnetic storms which produce aurora and nice openings on VHF.

A solar flare is a violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere with an energy equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. They produce electromagnetic radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths from long-wave radio to the shortest wavelength Gamma rays.

Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux. Each class has a peak flux ten times greater than the preceding one. The more powerful ones are M and X class flares and are often associated with a variety of effects on the near-Earth space environment. Although the GOES classification is commonly used to indicate the size of a flare, it is only one measure.


Solar Proton Flux



A solar proton event, or "proton storm", occurs when particles (mostly protons) emitted by the Sun become accelerated either close to the Sun during a flare or in interplanetary space by CME shocks.

When these protons arrive at Earth and enter the atmosphere over the polar regions, much enhanced ionization is produced at altitudes below 100 km. Ionization at these low altitudes is particularly effective in absorbing HF radio signals and can render HF communications impossible throughout the polar regions. This effect is called Radio Blackouts.


Geomagnetic Activity
(Kp Index)



The Kp Index quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth's magnetic field with an integer in the range 0–9 with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm.

The principal users affected by geomagnetic storms are the electrical power grid, spacecraft operations, users of radio signals that reflect off of or pass through the ionosphere, and observers of the aurora.



Source of all graphic reports: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


______________________
(1) National Hurricane Center


Published on January 1st, 2019


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