During the second half of October, solar activity ranged from low to high levels. Activity was low during 15-19 October, due to mostly low-level ‘C’ class flares, the largest one being on the 17th. Activity increased to high levels on 20 October. Activity increased to high levels on 20 October due to an impulsive M9 flare and a coronal mass ejection, but conditions returned to moderate levels by the 21st. Geomagnetic field activity was at unsettled levels early on 15 October, then decreased to quiet levels for the rest of the period.
Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity Solar activity is expected to be at low to moderate levels during 22 October - 02 November with M-class flare activity likely. Activity is expected to decrease to low levels during 03 – 17 November. However, there will be a chance for M-class flare activity beginning 15 November.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet to unsettled levels during 22 - 23 October with a slight chance for active levels, due to a coronal hole. Quiet levels are then expected during 24 October - 07 November. An increase to unsettled levels is expected on 08, and 09 November, then quiter conditions are likely to prevail by from November 11th.
The Grand Solar Cycle
During a Horizon programme called ‘Global Wierding’ Dr Mark Lockwood came up with a theory that there is actually a grand solar cycle which occurs approximately every 300 years. This coincides with the ‘Maunder Minimum’ period which occurred in 1645-1715, and could explain the quiet solar condition we have experienced in recent years. More about this period can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum The 11 year solar cycle apparently is equal to a ‘sun year’. More information at: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/info/SolarMax.pdf
The next propagation report will be in January. Thanks to Ken Fletcher and Milke Terry for your contributions during 2012