The K7RA Solar Update
Solar activity remains robust. Yesterday, Thursday, November 14 the daily sunspot number rose to 234, a number not seen since the last blast of the second peak of the previous solar cycle, exactly a decade ago.
Way back on October 27 through November 1, 2003 the daily sunspot numbers were 238, 230, 330, 293, 266, and 277. That was it. Nothing as high as a sunspot number of 234 since then.
But the average daily sunspot numbers over the past week declined from 131.7 to 126.1, less than six points. A few off days, November 9-11 contributed to the decline, but otherwise sunspot activity over the week was strong, beginning at 159 and 160 on November 7-8. The reporting week did not include yesterday’s over-the-top sunspot number. That will show in next week’s average.
Solar flux was up nearly eleven points, rising from an average of 146 on October 31 through November 6 to 156.9 in the recent period, November 7-13. The solar flux on Thursday, November 14 was 175.8.
The latest prediction shows solar flux at 175 on November 15-17, 170 on November 18-19, 165 on November 20-21, then 150, 145, 140 and 135 on November 22-25, 130 on November 26-27, 135 on November 28, 140 on November 29-30, 135 on December 1-3, 130 on December 4, 135 on December 5-6, then 130 and 135 on December 7-8 and 140 on December 9-10.
Predicted planetary A index is 8, 12 and 10 on November 15-17, 5 on November 18 through December 3, 8 on December 4, 5 on December 5, 12 on December 6, 10 on December 7-8, 5 on December 9-11 and 8 on December 12-13.
F.K. Janda, OK1HH, of the Czech Propagation Interest Group sees the geomagnetic field as quiet on November 15-16, mostly quiet November 17-18, quiet to unsettled November 19-20, quiet again November 21-25, quiet to unsettled November 26-27, active to disturbed November 28, mostly quiet November 29-30, quiet to active December 1-2, mostly quiet December 3, quiet December 4, mostly quiet December 5, quiet to active December 6-8, and quiet December 9-11.
Conditions should be good for the ARRL SSB Sweepstakes Contest this weekend and probably also good for the CQ Worldwide CW DX Contest on the following weekend.
Thanks to Jason Warren, WA2LJW, of New Paltz, New York, John Campbell, K4NFE, of Huntsville, Alabama, Ron McCollum, W7GTF, way up in the North Cascades in icy Winthrop, Washington and others for the articles in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post about weakening solar activity. We’ve heard a lot about this recently, and it seems like a good time to focus instead on the great conditions we have right now!
Terry Glass, N0YXE, of Overland Park, Kansas has been excited to hear Japan on 10 meters with his 36 foot end-fed wire, but just as things are getting interesting, his radio is dead and back to the factory authorized service depot it goes.
Here in North America we hear about or even see Aurora Borealis, but down under it is Aurora Australis that appears in the Southern Hemisphere. Check this article about the sky lighting up in Australia: http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/1899448/star-struck-colour-show-lights-up-night-sky/?cs=87
Jon Jones, N0JK, of Lawrence, Kansas wrote: “A rare 6 meter F2 opening to the Caribbean and northern South America occurred Saturday morning November 9.
“I got up around 9:50 am CST (1550 UTC) after working the night shift and saw the DX cluster loaded up with 6 meter DX spots. I had just got a M2 loop up in the attic this week as a temporary antenna. Turned on the radio and FM5AN was hitting 40 dB over S-9 on 50.115 MHz! I worked him at 1556 UTC followed by a really loud P43A on 50.120 MHz at 1603 UTC. P43A said I was well over S-9 on the loop. Then packed up the car with the portable antenna and set up about a mile west. By the time I set up, the band was fading and P43A was dropping out at 1630 UTC. I heard K3PA in EM29 also working some of the DX.”
According to Spaceweather.com, the opening was sparked by " . . . a gusty stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking auroras around both of our planet's poles on Nov. 9th.”
For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://www.arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see http://www.arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere. An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://www.arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.
Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://www.arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals.
Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://www.arrl.org/bulletins.
Sunspot numbers for November 7 through 13 were 159, 160, 95, 90, 104, 147, and 128, with a mean of 126.1. 10.7 cm flux was 148, 146, 148.1, 154.1, 163.7, 167.5, and 171, with a mean of 156.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 11, 4, 16, 10, 16, 2, and 3, with a mean of 8.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 3, 14, 9, 13, 2, and 2, with a mean of 7.7.