|Published by the STCE - this issue : 1 Dec 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.
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The fourteenth European Space Weather Week is about to finish.
The ESWW is one of the main international conferences when it comes to space weather. This ESWW was co-located with the 9th CubeSat Workshop.
It was definitely a success. Almost 500 scientists, engineers, satellite operators, power grid technicians, communication specialists,... from all over the world came to Oostende to discuss space weather and CubeSats.
We are already looking forward to the next edition that will be organised from November 5 to 9 in Leuven, Belgium.
Over the past week solar activity has been quiet. No significant flares have been recorded.
The graph below shows the X-ray flux over the week. You can see that not much happened, only a few B-flares.
The solar wind speed has fluctuated between 300 to 650 km/s, the total magnetic field strength between 3 and 14 n, the Bz component -13 and +14 nT.
Due to the interaction between the slow and fast solar wind associated with the coronal hole that was at the central meridian on November 16, the geomagnetic field was disturbed on November 21. NOAA reported 2 3h intervals of Kp=5, Dourbes reported 3 3h intervals of K=4.
For the last 3h interval on November 24, Dourbes reported K=5. For the first 3h interval on November 25, NOAA reported Kp=4. This was due to the second solar wind speed bump.
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.