Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Record Solar Flux amount breached during cycle

Record Solar Flux amount breached during cycle

A new record for Solar Cycle 24! The Solar Flux counter yesterday reached 190 sfu (solar flux unit), the highest value of the current Solar Cycle and the highest index since November 02, 2003 when the SF reached again 190 sfu. Eight years ago!

Differently from SSN, which values are random enough and less representative than SF (for our purposes), the 2800 MHz solar radio flux is strictly connected to Extreme Ultra Violet radiation: the main factor of F-layers ionization and one of the most representative indices for F2-layer propagation conditions and Maximum Usable Frequency levels.

However, Flares (id est X-Ray radiation) have been high enough during the last few days, as shown in the GOES Xray Flux plot

Both X-ray bands (0.5-4.0 Å and 1.8-8 Å) reached high levels since Sept 24, after a strong X-class event occurred at about 11.00 UTC followed by other M-class emissions.

Fortunately, the strongest eruptions occurred on AR1302, located in a zone of the Sun from where plasma emissions will not reach our Planet and will not perturb geomagnetic field. The only evident effects produced by Flares have been SIDs (Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance) such as sudden blackout and/or wideband noise on all HF bands.

The particularly calm geomagnetic field (low A & K indices) and the extraordinary SF level occurred during the last few days, produced with no dubt the best propagation conditions of Solar Cycle 24. 10m openings have been incredibily long and strong. Signals among USA, Pacific, Europe, Middle & Far East have been always strong and persistent.

Here is an audio recording by Col MM0NDX on 28.490 MHz @10.40 UTC (Sept. 26, 2011): VK6TQ from Australia reached 9+20 dB on his S-meter!

Nevertheless, other bands offered also exceptional openings, and juicy conditions for all CQ WW RTTY contesters.

What will happen in the next few days? The answer will be in our next regular “Solar & Propagation bulletin” online on Wednesday, Sept. 28!

For more news and alerts stay tuned with us.

Post Scriptum:
Have you a recording of a special DX contact? Is it representative of a particular propagation condition? If so, send me/us your audio or video files and maybe they can be published and shared with all our readers!

73 and good DX

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