LunaticTrader

Investing with the Moon

Solar activity

Increased solar activity and solar storms tend to have a short term negative effect on stocks.
See: https://lunatictrader.com/?Geomagnetic_Storms and https://lunatictrader.com/?Solar_Cycle_progression for further details.

Here we list a few tools that make it easy to monitor solar activity and geomagnetic storms:

Solar activity plot

Solar activity plot

Shows recent solar activity and the forecast for the next day. Watch out for high or very high activity. If it coincides with a market bottom then look for prices to recover as solar activity comes back down.
Updated: daily
Source: IPS Australia

Solar Wind diagram

Solar Wind diagram

If the black square is in the green zone, then there is no disturbance. If it goes in the red zone, then geomagnetic storms are likely.
Updated: several times a day
Source: IPS Australia

Solar Flare Monitor

Solar Flare Monitor

The Sun has a 27 day rotation period. New sunspots appear from the left, and disappear to the invisible side on the right. Active sunspot regions thus tend to reappear after two weeks. New spots coming in at the left will be visible (and may expand in number) for the next two weeks. This helps you to estimate the sunspot activity for the next days/weeks.

Updated: several times a day
Source: Space Weather Research

Solar Dynamics

The Sun Today

If you see a very bright corona at the left side, then stronger solar activity (and more sunspots) are probably coming up in the next days. This picture gives you an idea what’s around the corner.
For a larger version click here.
For previous days and daily movies, visit The Sun Today.

Updated: very frequently
Source: AIA by Solar Dynamics Observatory

Last 12 months solar activity

last 12 months

Overview chart showing the sunspot number, solar flux and Ap index (geomagnetic storms) for the recent 12 months.

Updated: daily
Source: Solen.info

GOES electron flux

electron flux

Electron flux is directly connected to solar wind and geomagnetism. This measures the so-called “killer electrons” that can knock out satellites. Watch the red and blue line for the > 2MeV flux. Values above 1000 (10^3 – dashed line) are showing highly charged conditions.

Updated: every 5 minutes
Source: NOAA

Oulu Neutron Monitor

cosmic rays

Cosmic rays as measured by the Oulu station. Shown as a % above or below average.

Updated: every 5 minutes
Source: Oulu Cosmic Ray Station

Sunspot Cycle progress

Sunspot cycle progress

International sunspot number and smoothed sunspot number for the current solar cycle.
Updated: monthly
Source: IPS Australia

 

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7 Responses to “Solar activity”

  1. […] Solar activity […]

  2. bob collett said

    Hi Danny
    More questions
    Your Solar Activity report says sunspots will peak in 2013, yet your ISES Sunspot numbers chart shows a peak in 2011.?
    Having read your SolarCycles .pdf, the 10 year cycle is the long term route and the solar peak is a waste of time .That implies John Hampstons long term model is incorrect.?
    I want to back test my market against the SSN number ( daily ).and see how the market performed on SSN 150 days.
    Is there a site where I can find SSN for the last 10 years?
    regards
    bob

    • Danny said

      Hi Bob,

      Daily sunspot numbers starting from 1818 can be found at the official source: http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-data/
      I did my research on S&P data starting from 1950. Sixty years of daily data, means we can have some reasonable confidence in whatever patterns we find. Ten years is not enough imo.

      Late 2011 has been the highest monthly sunspot number so far in this cycle, the highest SSN (smoothed sunspot number) has been in early 2012 (blue line). These may eventually be declared the peaks of the cycle, if no higher SSN is recorded in the coming years. We will probably not get certainty whether the solar cycle has peaked until 2015.
      To get an idea how solar physicists are struggling to forecast solar minimums and maximums, this NASA article from 2006 is a good read: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/15aug_backwards/
      As we now know, the bottom of the cycle didn’t come until the end of 2008, and the current cycle is one of the weakest in a century and very few solar storms.
      This creates a problem if you want to invest based on solar cycle information. If we don’t know when the solar cycle peaked (or bottomed) until years after the fact, then how are we supposed to sell our stocks near the solar cycle peak?

      As for John Hampson’s long model, I think you are referring to this page: http://solarcycles.net/ultra-long-term-models/
      While I appreciate his work and think it is an elegant model, it remains to be seen whether it will hold up.
      The model rests on 33 year and 66 year cycles, which means that these cycles have not been observed more than a handful of times.
      Even for the 11 year solar cycle, we have only about 20 cycles that we can consider for research. When a 33 year commodity cycle is proposed, it means we are down to only 7 such cycles that have been observed, and half of them come from the 19th century.
      His article for example also states that a bottom, crash or panic happens within 2 years of a solar minimum. Within 2 years of a solar minimum, that’s a 4 year period. There haven’t been too many 4 year periods without a crash or panic of some kind, so isn’t this almost guaranteed to come true, regardless where we are in the solar cycle?
      I wouldn’t say his model is incorrect. I would just say it is a hypothesis based on only a handful of observed cycles, which means one has to be very careful in using it.

      Danny

  3. bob collett said

    Thanks Danny,
    As usual, a comprehensive , solid reply.
    I wrote a long story and when i clicked “Post Comment” it disappeared. Now I cant recall my long story.
    I note todays SN is down to 80. If SN150 is the chance of bear reversal,
    is there a correlation between a low SN and a bull reversal
    Bob

    • Danny said

      Hi Bob,

      I have not detected any strong correlation between SN and bull or bear market reversals. It is more that a sudden ramp up in SN often leads to a short term dip, from which it normally recovers, and then the ongoing bull (or bear) market just continues.

      I think it is connected to the risk of strong solar flares, and that also depends on where the sunspots are. When most of the sunspots are on the edge, then it is unlikely to flare in our direction. When the sunspots are near the middle of the visible sun, then we are in the line of fire. See also the solar flare monitor image above.
      This slide show gives us a good idea what is possible when we are in the line of fire:
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=bracing-for-a-solar-superstorm
      How much damage such a storm could do today is anybody’s guess.
      I will try to cover that topic in a future article.

      Danny

      • bob collett said

        Thanks Danny
        I remain a bull untill the Fed, etc raise interst rates by just 0.0001%.
        Kind regards
        Bob

  4. […] Solar activity […]

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