[CQ-Contest] Sunspot Data and Info

Jim Reid jreid at aloha.net
Fri Jul 11 11:41:41 EDT 1997

Aloha to all,

May be of interest to  you,  I find it interesting to
watch cycle 23 slowly developing.

Daily sunspot photos and drawings are posted by 1730 UTC at
the following site:


Now,  this will take a minute or two to load,  as the photo of the
guy climbing the 150 foot solar tower is a big image file,  and the
server there is not too swift.  When loaded you will see seven
current solar images,  one of which is a drawing.  The drawing
can be enlarged two times to get the fine spot detail and magnetic
flux polarization.  Text on the page describes the image meanings
and how the data is collected.

The next URL contains data to help you place the present situation into
some perspective vs previous sunspot cycles.


This large page contains nine data plots.  At the third graph
down, you can compare the present minimum period,  lasting
roughly from early '96,  or late '95,  depending upon how you
want to look at it,  through until now,  with the minimums which
occurred around 1976 - 1978 or so;  and,  1984 1/2 to 1987 1/2,  again
depending upon how you count the minimum period's impact on your operating
experience versus the peak year times.  Rolling average of sunspot
count says the minimum was in May of '96;  lowest continuous days
of flux readings were in July of '96,  and the most days with
absolutely no sunspots occurted in Sept-Oct '96 time period.

The 7th and 8th graphs down show "butterfly" graphs of the occurrence of
sunspot groups (like the tiny group of 5 bitty spots at about 4 degrees
North latitude yesterday,  clearly from the old cycle 22);  unfortunately,
today Mt. Wilson reports no sunspots visible.

These butterfly plots show that cycle 23 had begun at least by
the middle of 1996,  and is still being overlapped by cycle 22 groups, as
yesterday.  The new group's spots usually first show up,  at least above
15 degrees N/S latitude on the sun,  while the dwindling cycle spots
tend very near the solar equator.  Some groups of cycle 23 spots have
already been seen as high as +/- 30 degree latitude on the sun,  but
not many.

The last graph on the page,  #9,  shows clearly that the number of spot
groups has begun to pick up,  and the 7 and 8 graphs show that they are
being generated,  for the most part via cycle 23.

Look back at the previous two pick ups of cycle 21 and 22,  and you may
estimate when we ought to really get going with propagation improvement
from cycle 23.

Just must be patient a bit longer.  Maybe by the October/November contest/dx
season we may be blessed,  just have to wait and see.  Surely in
another year,  at least........

Mahalo and 73,

Jim,  KH7M
On the Garden Island of Kauai

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list