Sunspot Cycle 24
And Ham Radio

Sunspot cycle 24 began slowly subsiding in 2014. Even so, it will still produce some good DX opportunities for a few years. This page has information on solar activity for the ham radio DXer.

The three-month sunspot moving average hit its lowest count in August 2008.

No "significant" sunspot activity was observed ... until a sunspot persisted for five days at high latitudes before disappearing on June 4 2009.

Cycle 24 was born!

The sun's activity provided ham radio operators all over the world with a number of good to excellent signal propagation conditions. Now that it's over the top, we have to watch the sun's activity more closely to make the most of it.

The information table below is provided by Paul, N0NBH. There are detailed explanations, on his website, on how to interpret the solar data displayed below.

I must tell you that I find N0NBH's Web site one of the most informative sites on solar radiation and the sun's influence on signal propagation. If you are at all interested in acquiring a better understanding of the sun's impact on our hobby, this is one site I recommend without hesitation.

Here is the latest picture showing sunspot activity!

The latest sunspot cycle 24 activity from the Solar And Heliosperic Observatory (SOHO).
For more info on the sun, visit:

Sunspot Cycle 24

An international panel of experts predicted, in June 2009, that Solar Cycle 24 would likely not produce a smoothed sunspot number exceeding 90!

It laboriously reached a peak of 81.9 in April 2014!

The smoothed sunspot number (SSN) represents the average number of sunspots observed over a whole year.

SSN, A index, K index, solar flux, etc.?
What do the numbers mean?
I recommend this article by K9LA.

In comparison, cycle 23 had produced a maximum smoothed sunspot number around 160 in 2001 which, in itself, was less than the maximum observed during each of the two previous cycles.

In other words, we are told not to expect too much out of solar cycle 24. The experts were right.

But, hey! It's so quiet on HF during a solar minimum that any sunspot activity, and its beneficial effect of the "F" layer, are very welcome indeed :-)

For regular information on solar activity and its effect on propagation, I recommend the
ARRL Propagation Forecast Bulletin
produced by Tad Cook, K7RA

For an impressive amount of information on solar activity, I recommend a visit to Kevin's Web site (VE3EN). A true feast for the eyes and brain! ;-)

To help you keep tabs on the latest developments in solar activity, below are the latest news articles related to solar sunspot cycle.

Latest News


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73 de VE2DPE
Claude Jollet
7, Rue de la Rive, Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Québec, Canada J6E 1M9

QTH Locator: FN36gb

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