Category Archives: Space Weather

There Are Storms A’Comin’!

Something new (to me) caught my eye this morning and brought an exclamation to my lips: the three-day geomagnetic forecast for today shows Purple!! This indicates some serious geomagnetic activity! Red is not uncommon, but Purple really got my attention!

The disturbance is due to an active sunspot area 31 times the size of earth! There are 3-4 CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) headed our way, arriving in the next day or two, which will likely make SWLing a bit difficult, if not causing at least momentary blackouts in some places.

On the upside, for those amateur radio folks who like working Auroral Skip, conditions are likely to be quite interesting in the VHF and above ranges.

SolarHam.net and SpaceweatherLive.com are both excellent sites to study solar activity, so give them a visit! 73, Robert K4PKM

Robert Gulley, K4PKM (formerly AK3Q), is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.       Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

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Active sunspot returns

(Source: Spaceweather via Troy Riedel)

This weekend, old sunspot AR2738 is returning from a two-week trip around the farside of the sun. After re-appearing late yesterday, the sunspot quickly produced two CMEs (coronal mass ejections), signalling that it may be even more active than before. Last month when it crossed the face of the sun, AR2738 crackled with low-level flares and strafed Earth with loud shortwave radio bursts.[…]

Click here to follow this story at Spaceweather.com.

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NOAA/NASA panel publishes Solar Cycle 25 Preliminary Forecast

(Source: NOAA via Michael Bird)

The NOAA/NASA co-chaired international panel to forecast Solar Cycle 25 released a preliminary forecast for Solar Cycle 25 on April 5, 2019. The consensus: Cycle 25 will be similar in size to cycle 24. It is expected that sunspot maximum will occur no earlier than the year 2023 and no later than 2026 with a minimum peak sunspot number of 95 and a maximum of 130. In addition, the panel expects the end of Cycle 24 and start of Cycle 25 to occur no earlier than July, 2019, and no later than September, 2020. The panel hopes to release a final, detailed forecast for Cycle 25 by the end of 2019. Please read the official NOAA press release describing the international panel’s forecast at https://www.weather.gov/news/190504-sun-activity-in-solar-cycle

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Building a Raspberry Pi magnetometer network

Source: Ciarán D. Beggan and Steve R. Marple

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Ciarán Beggan of the British Geological Survey describes how a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK to measure geomagnetic storms

As computers such as the Raspberry Pi and geophysical sensors have become smaller and cheaper it is now possible to build a reasonably sensitive system which can detect and record the changes of the magnetic field caused by the Northern Lights (aurora).

Though not as accurate as a scientific level instrument, the Raspberry Pi magnetometer costs around 1/100th the price (about £180 at 2019 prices) for around 1/100th the accuracy (~1.5 nanoTesla). However, this is sufficient to make interesting scientific measurements.

During 2017, a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK from Benbecula to Norwich. On September 8, 2017 a large geomagnetic storm was captured by the school magnetometers. Using these data and the array of other magnetometers around the North Sea, we were able to recreate the spatial and temporal changes of the magnetic field during the storm in great detail. The two phases of the storm show the westward (night time) and eastward (daytime) flow of the auroral electrojet currents in the ionosphere.

Source http://www.mist.ac.uk/nuggets

Download the paper Building a Raspberry Pi school magnetometer network in the UK
https://www.geosci-commun.net/1/25/2018/gc-1-25-2018.pdf

Click here to read at the Southgate ARC.

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