Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday's Solar Flux Was NOT the Lowest!

An important correction to all the speculation on Wednesday's solar flux comes from the mailing list of Thomas F. Giella (KN4LF). After searching the data (available here), he's come up with a daily uncorrected 10.7 cm solar radio flux of 62.6 on November 3, 1954.

Personal examination of the data confirms this.

Of course, there is some debate regarding the validity of direct comparisons. Several variables exist, which are way too technical to get into here.

Yesterday's discussion of why solar fluxes adjust higher in summer and lower in winter still holds. The Earth's orbit is still at aphelion in July. That makes a November daily flux of 62.6 even more remarkable, since it adjusted downward to a phenomenal 61.6. No wonder the formula for flux vs sunspot numbers should be considered an approximation, since it doesn't allow anything lower than 67!!!

Those seeking any predictive value from Wednesday's low solar flux would be cautioned that less than four years later, in 1958, came the start of the highest solar maximum ever measured, with many uncorrected daily fluxes in the high 300's. While this does not change the fact that Cycle 24 is VERY late, we should remember that the sun will do what it wants to do.