We had "yellow" level geomagnetic activity on the sun last night, and more may
come tonight and tomorrow night. Its coming from Sunspot 953, which is about 3 times the size of the Earth.
Sunspot 953 is crackling with mild
B-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Image of sunspot 953 taken today by Sebastien Kersten of Le Cocq, Belgium:
Here is the dispatch:
Date: April 28, 2007 9:24:59 AM CDT
Subject: BBSO Solar Activity Warning 28-APR-2007 14:19:18 UT
Region NOAA 10953 is currently beta-gamma magnetic class, and may increase in complexity.
The region is bright in H-alpha as well. This region has a chance of producing M-class
NOAA 10953, S10 E41. Beta-gamma region. Position as of April 28, 2007 at 13:30 UT.
And this is in the middle of our solar minimum, indicating our sun still has a few belches to pass out before completely settling down.
One of the best tools we have is the ACE Spacecraft, which monitors the sun 24/7 and provides us with a plethora of real-time data, of the magnetic
field, the solar wind, and inter-galactic cosmic ray counts.
For the latest "dial" info (including our "space weather stoplight") go to
For the latest 10-minute averages of the Boyle Index from realtime ACE
spacecraft data, go to http://space.rice.edu/ISTP/wind.html
Some guides to interpret the gauges
If the hourly-average of the Boyle index exceeds 110, then Kp 4-6 storms
will likely occur within the next three hours
If the hourly average of the Boyle index exceeds 200, then major magnetic
storms will occur within the next three hours
If the hourly average of the Boyle index exceeds 250, major low-latitude
auroras will occur within the next three hours.
A magnetic storm generally occurs about an hour or two after the CME arrives at Earth, which is roughly 26-48 hours *after* a major solar flare. The Boyle Index is derived from real-time ACE spacecraft data, which gives about 45 minutes of warning before it hits the Earth.