Solar contiguous activity cycle 23/24

Posted: December 20, 2014 by tchannon in Astrophysics, Solar physics

At first sight this Brazilan paper in Astronomy & Astrophysics is relatively uninteresting if you are familar with sunspot activity, appears to be another general look using waveletts.

Two features strike me as worthy of highlighting

  • a double burst of activity during cycle 23, not obvious from sunspot data alone
  • continuing activity right through the 23/24 transition


Extract from paper Fig. 5, my highlight of strong X activity post the cycle 23 sunspot peak.

Wavelet analysis of CME, X-ray flare, and sunspot series

M. R. G. Guedes, E. S. Pereira and J. R. Cecatto

A&A 573 A64 (2015)


(access with registration, large PDF 17.7MB)

First part of Abstract.


Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares are the most energetic transient phenomena taking place at the Sun. Together they are principally responsible for disturbances in outer geospace. Coronal mass ejections and solar flares are believed to be correlated with the solar cycle, which is mainly characterized by sunspot numbers.

Aims. Here, we search for pattern identification in CMEs, X-ray solar flares, and sunspot number time series using a new data mining process and a quantitative procedure to correlate these series.

The top figure is particularly interesting to me given some history, not all known to Talkshop readers. Some time ago I got involved in a minor disagreement with LS. over a work where he made a fuss about a satellite very short wave dataset which seemed to him to show the satellite instrumentation was failing. To his credit he did publish what the satellite data keepers had to say, firmly disagreed. I am not aware of a definite conclusion.

I reworked roughly what LS had done but to high resolution, disagreeing further with what had been said. The data indicated a peculiar rise in solar output which I noted as an open wondering seemed to coincide with excess Arctic ice loss. The whole of cycle 23 at that time seemed to be unusual.

I don’t get into fights, waste of effort, so it was all left as a wondering. Maybe I did post something on this, don’t recall.

See why the plot now tweaks my interest? If true this might have implications for earth data.


Extract from paper Fig. 3 implying CME activity tended to be contiguous across cycle 23/24, although the paper coda about dataset usage should be noted.

There is no particular conclusion more than pointing out what I am seeing.

Post by Tim

  1. ren says:

    “Results. The results have shown the existence of periodic and intermittent signals in the CMEs, flares, and sunspot time series. For the CME and flare series, few and relatively short time intervals without any signal were observed. Signals with an intermittent character take place during some epochs of the maximum and descending phases of the solar cycle 23 and rising phase of solar cycle 24. A comparison among X-ray flares, sunspots, and CME time series shows a stronger relation between flare and CMEs, although during some short intervals (four–eight months) and in a relatively narrow band. Yet, in contrast we have obtained a fainter or even absent relation between the X-ray flares and sunspot number series as well as between the CMEs and sunspot number series.”

  2. ren says:

    CME should exactly correspond to the galactic radiation. When a CME hits the Earth, immediately falls GCR.

  3. ren says:

    In this animation, a well it shows.

  4. tchannon says:

    Just after midnight I noticed the space weather sidebar seemed to be showing an x-flare, didn’t follow it up.

    WEEKEND MAGNETIC STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% to 65% chance of minor geomagnetic storms this weekend when a pair of CMEs is expected to sideswipe Earth’s magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall. Aurora alerts: text, voice

    X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR2242 erupted on Saturday, Dec. 20th @ 00:27 UT, producing an intense X1.8-class solar flare. This picture taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a plume of material flying away from the blast site:

  5. tchannon says:

    In other news it looks like NASA has lost contact with it’s behind.

    “Communications with the STEREO Behind spacecraft were interrupted on October 1, 2014 immediately after a planned reset of the spacecraft performed as part of a test of solar conjunction operations. There have been no successful communications since then, …”

  6. A C Osborn says:

    I read an interesting article recently about the Sun actually having a “Surface” because you could see the Coronal Mass Ejections falling back to the sun and Impacting the Surface like drops of water hitting the surface of water.

  7. Bob Weber says:

    TC, that flare was a biggie: from “The event was associated with a long duration radio burst (TenFlare) lasting nearly an hour and measuring 2300 solar flux units (SFU).”

    ren – It is called a Forbush decrease when solar particles deflect GCRs.

  8. Brian H says:

    “NASA has lost contact with its [sp] behind.”
    Heh. With both hands?

  9. tchannon says:

    NASA is in the sat business but were beside themselves anyway Brian.

    Bit puzzling on how come there is yet another solar powered satellite where it cannot be commanded to recover from a simple orbital misalignment.

  10. ren says:

    Tchannon geomagnetic storm and a sharp drop in GCR. Radioactive radiation dose to the north also poor. Only during the a very strong flare is growing rapidly.


    Oulu monitor –Tim]

  11. tchannon says:

    Tim adds, this is what the left sidebar space weather monitor was showing

  12. tchannon says:

    Last night, solstice, Norway

    “Sometimes its smart too trust your feeling. I was almost going to bed when i decided to give it a chance. 2.45 AM i took my camera and went up in the forrest just behind my house in Tromsdalen. And what was waiting fore me, Look fore yourselves and just enjoy it. IT WAS AMAZING”

    Spaceweather archive page for today

  13. craigm350 says:


    From spaceweather –

    Right after sunset on Dec. 22nd, the [polar stratospheric] clouds were so bright they were uncomfortable to look at directly,” says Marthinusen.

    Also known as “nacreous” or “mother of pearl” clouds, these icy structures form in the lower stratosphere when temperatures drop to around minus 85ºC. Sunlight shining through tiny ice particles ~10µm across produce the characteristic bright iridescent colors by diffraction and interference. Once thought to be mere curiosities, some PMCs are now known to be associated with the destruction of ozone.

  14. tchannon says:

    I didn’t spot that craig. Ozone is lost during darkness, lack of UV where right now there is deep Arctic winter. (was considering a post showing insolation, just how low it gets, but at the moment I have a lot of serious technical problems stopping me doing much)

    The evening after the x-ray flare we had the most spectacular sunset I have seen in years.

    Untouched other than resize from an old Canon digital. It really was brightly coloured. Best view I could get from here, out of attic skylight. A fairly clear sky is rare in England during the winter.

  15. tchannon says:

    A change belatedly spotted ren by the continental Europe weather forecasters as reported by

    It is raining here in southern England, rising temperature, much too warm for snow. Ho ho, if Roger is where I think he is, might be white.

    I’ve been having a terrible time over the past week trying to find a workaround for a software breakage so I’ve not been paying attention to much. Met Office forecasts and weather have been automatically logged. (not what someone else broke).

  16. tallbloke says:

    Nice dusting of Snow here in W. Yorks last night. Took this shot of Ilkley Moor around 2pm today.