Category Archives: Space Weather

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

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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.


Download the paper Building a Raspberry Pi school magnetometer network in the UK

Click here to read at the Southgate ARC.

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A free book (PDF) on sun-earth interaction

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Eric (WD8RIF), who writes:

This came in the most recent ARRL Contest newsletter:

The Sun, The Earth, and Near-Earth Space: A Guide to the Sun-Earth System by J. A. Eddy is a readable and accessible textbook that explains the dynamics of the Sun and its interaction with the Earth’s ionosphere. It’s available as a free download, courtesy of NASA and the International Living with a Star Program. Anyone using the ionosphere as a medium for radio wave transmission and wants to better understand propagation should find this book of interest. (Ward, N0AX)

Thank you for the stellar tip, Eric!

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