STCE Newsletter

5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017

Published by the STCE - this issue : 15 Jun 2017.
The Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE) is a collaborative network of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, the Royal Observatory of Belgium and the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.
Archive of the newsletters Subscribe to this newsletter by mail
1. STCE annual meeting: presentations online
2. PROBA2 Observations (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)
3. Review of solar and geomagnetic activity
4. Space Weather Briefing
5. The International Sunspot Number
6. Geomagnetic Observations at Dourbes (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)
7. Review of ionospheric activity (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)
8. Future Events

STCE annual meeting: presentations online

The presentations
SOHO/SUMER - a last International Observation Campaign before shutting down
The Telescope EUI is ready!

are available:

You can find there also the link to the movie 'The Royal Observatory of Belgium, anno 1953'.

PROBA2 Observations (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)

Solar Activity

Solar flare activity fluctuated between very low and low during the week.
In order to view the activity of this week in more detail, we suggest to go to the following website from which all the daily (normal and difference) movies can be accessed:
This page also lists the recorded flaring events.

A weekly overview movie can be found here (SWAP week 376).

Details about some of this week’s events, can be found further below.

If any of the linked movies are unavailable they can be found in the P2SC movie repository here

Monday Jun 05

The largest flare of the week was a C2.7 class flare, peaking at 05:31 UT on 2017-Jun-05 produced by the NOAA active region 2661, which is visible in the north-east quadrant of the Sun. This can be seen in the of the SWAP image above. Find a movie of the events here (SWAP movie)

A C1.2 flare peaking at 09:55 UT is visible on the North Western limb in the above SWAP image. It was produced by the only other active region of the week. Find a movie of the events here (SWAP movie)

Wednesday Jun 07

A large wave associated with a B4.4 class flare produced by NOAA 2661 region, which produced flares during the whole week - The event can be seen in the above SWAP image. Find a movie of the events here (SWAP movie)

Sunday Jun 11

An elongated recurrent coronal hole was visible in the SWAP images throughout the week. The region was located in the Eastern hemisphere on 2017-Jun-11 and be seen in the above image. Find a movie of the events here (SWAP movie)

Review of solar and geomagnetic activity


The GOES X-ray background was below B2 level throughout the week. The only sunspot regions were Catania region 29 (NOAA AR 2661 - beta, then beta-delta, then alpha) and Catania region 30 (beta - unnumbered by NOAA), which produced three low C flares. Proton flux levels were at background values.


Solar wind was nominal with speeds between about 265 and 405 km/s and Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) magnitude between about 0.5 and 7.5 nT until about 12h UT on June 11, when solar wind speed gradually increased from about 290 to 435 km/s and the IMF magnitude suddenly increased from about 1.5 to 14 nT. Simultaneously, the solar wind density decreased, followed by a change of the phi angle of the IMF. This indicates the possible arrival of an ICME (maybe associated with the CME and flare from NOAA AR 2661 which peaked at 16:58 UT on June 7), followed by slightly enhanced solar wind associated with the small positive equatorial coronal hole which reached central meridian on June 8.
With the Bz component of the IMF below -10 nT for a few hours, there was a minor geomagnetic storm interval (K Dourbes = 5) at 15h UT on June 11, preceded and followed by an active interval (K Dourbes = 4). Afterwards, geomagnetic conditions returned to quiet to unsettled levels (K Dourbes smaller than 4).

Space Weather Briefing

These are the slides presented during the Monday June 12 Space Weather Briefing given by the forecaster that was on duty from June 5 to June 11. It reflects in images and graphs what is written down in the Solar and Geomagnetic Activity report in this news letter.

movie 1 - magnetogram + visible light:
movie 2 - SDO/AIA 094:

The International Sunspot Number

The daily Estimated International Sunspot Number (EISN, red curve with shaded error) derived by a simplified method from real-time data from the worldwide SILSO network. It extends the official Sunspot Number from the full processing of the preceding month (green line). The plot shows the last 30 days (about one solar rotation). The horizontal blue line shows the current monthly average, while the green dots give the number of stations included in the calculation of the EISN for each day.

Geomagnetic Observations at Dourbes (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)

Review of ionospheric activity (5 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017)

The figure shows the time evolution of the Vertical Total Electron Content (VTEC) (in red) during the last week at three locations:
a) in the northern part of Europe(N61°, 5°E)
b) above Brussels(N50.5°, 4.5°E)
c) in the southern part of Europe(N36°, 5°E)
This figure also shows (in grey) the normal ionospheric behaviour expected based on the median VTEC from the 15 previous days.

The VTEC is expressed in TECu (with TECu=10^16 electrons per square meter) and is directly related to the signal propagation delay due to the ionosphere (in figure: delay on GPS L1 frequency).
The Sun's radiation ionizes the Earth's upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, located from about 60km to 1000km above the Earth's surface.The ionization process in the ionosphere produces ions and free electrons. These electrons perturb the propagation of the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) signals by inducing a so-called ionospheric delay.

See for some more explanations ; for detailed information, see

Future Events

For more details, see

United Nations/United States of America Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative in Massachusetts (USA)

Start : 2017-07-31 - End : 2017-08-04
This workshop marks the 10th anniversary of the International Heliophysical Year, which led to the genesis of the International Space Weather Initiative. It is organized jointly by the Office for Outer Space Affairs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Boston College to highlight the achievements made over the past ten years and to show-case the worldwide development of science, capacity building, and outreach.
The UN Workshops on ISWI have been aimed at providing a global forum for space weather experts from developed and developing countries, including representatives of the major instrument operators and data providers. In particular the Workshop will focus on recent advances made in scientific research by utilizing ISWI instrument data in conjunction with space mission data in adding significant new knowledge on space weather phenomena near Earth and interplanetary space.
The workshop will begin with a high level international forum on the economic and societal effects of extreme space weather. This forum will include keynote speakers from major international organizations followed by a panel session to discuss issues and policies for acknowledging space weather as a global challenge.
The workshop is also held in preparation for UNISPACE+50 in 2018, the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE), held in Vienna in 1968. The three components of the Workshop will also help develop a coherent international policy towards an appropriate response to space weather.

URSI General Assembly in Montreal, Canada

Start : 2017-08-19 - End : 2017-08-26
For the thirty-second time since the inception of URSI, Radio Scientists from across the world will get together for the URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium. This triennial gathering will take place from 19th to 26th of August 2017, in Montreal, Canada. This conference is a unique opportunity to learn about recent advances in all fields of Radio Science, as covered by all ten URSI Commissions.
Among the different sessions, please note:
* 'Radio Science for Space Weather' Conveners: M. Messerotti, V. Pierrard
* 'Remote Sensing and Modeling of the Earth's Plasmasphere and Plasmapause' Conveners: A. M. Jorgensen, V. Pierrard, B. Heilig
The abstract deadline is 30 January 2017

2017 Joint IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa

Start : 2017-08-27 - End : 2017-09-01
The Joint IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA Assembly, endorsed by the University of Cape Town and the South African Department of Science and Technology, will take place from 27 August to 1 September 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Several IAGA and IAMAS sessions are of Space Weather interests as well as the joint session 'Space Weather throughout the Solar System: Bringing Data and Models together'.

Workshops on Radiation Monitoring for the International Space Station in Torino, Italy

Start : 2017-09-05 - End : 2017-09-07
The Workshop on Radiation Monitoring for the International Space Station is an annual meeting to discuss the scientific definition of an adequate radiation monitoring package and its use by the scientific community on the ISS. Types of instruments and research topics need to be defined in order to optimise the radiation safety of the ISS crew.

International Workshop on Solar, Heliospheric & Magnetospheric Radioastronomy in Meudon, France

Start : 2017-11-06 - End : 2017-11-10
Jean-Louis Steinbeg has been one of the major pioneers in radioastronomy. Co-founder of the Nançay Observatory, he has actively participated to, an inspired a large number of radio instruments on many international space missions. Jean-Louis Steinberg is the founder of the Space Radioastronomy laboratory of the Paris Observatory in 1963. Later on, this laboratory widened its science interests and became the DESPA (1971) and then the current LESIA (2002) which is one of the major space sciences laboratories in France. The aim of this workshop is to cover the science topics which Jean-Louis Steinberg has promoted during his career, focusing on Solar, Heliospheric & Magnetospheric radioastronomy & physics. This will be done by covering both observations from either ground facilities (NDA, RH, LOFAR, Artemis etc ...) or space missions (ISSEE, Ulysses, WIND, CLUSTER, STEREO, CASSINI, JUNO etc ...) and models/theories. A series of invited talks is also foreseen to cover the new developments in the discipline which may come with the future facilities such as Solar Orbiter, Solar Probe Plus, JUICE, JUNO, LOFAR+, SKA etc ....
This workshop will also be the opportunity to remember both the extraordinary personal & professional lifes of Jean-Louis Steinberg especially for new generation of scientists. At the occasion of this workshop it is also expected that the Building 16 (historical Space Sciences building) on the Meudon campus will be renamed "Building Jean-Louis Steinberg".

European Space Weather Week 14

Start : 2017-11-27 - End : 2017-12-01
The ESWW is the main annual event in the European Space Weather calendar. It is the European forum for Space Weather as proven by the high attendance to the past editions. The agenda will be composed of plenary/parallel sessions, working meetings and dedicated events for service end-users. The ESWW will again adopt the central aim of bringing together the diverse groups in Europe working on different aspects of Space Weather.