Steve Wolf, W8IZ@W8IZ

(This text from the W8IZ packet radio bulletin

board. It's formatted to fit a 80 character screen.)

a INDEX.  A 3-hourly "equivalent amplitude" index of local geomagnetic
          activity; "a" is related to the 3-hourly K INDEX according to
          the following scale:
          K    0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9
          a    0    3    7   15   27   48   80  140  240  400
A INDEX.  A daily index of geomagnetic activity derived as the average of
          the eight 3-hourly a indices.
ACTIVE.   Geomagnetic levels such that 15 <= Ap < 30.
ACTIVE LONGITUDE.  The approximate center of a range of heliographic
          longitudes in which ACTIVE REGIONS are more numerous and more
          FLARE-active than the average.
ACTIVE PROMINENCE.  A PROMINENCE displaying material motion and changes
          in appearance over a few minutes of time.
ACTIVE PROMINENCE REGION (APR).  A portion of the solar LIMB displaying
ACTIVE REGION (AR).  A localized, transient volume of the solar atmosphere
          in which PLAGEs, SUNSPOTS, FACULAe, FLAREs, etc. may be observed.
ACTIVE SURGE REGION (ASR).  An ACTIVE REGION that exhibits a group or
          series of spike-like surges that rise above the limb.
AFRED.    Abbreviation for the A INDEX for Fredericksburg.
ANGSTROM. A unit of length = 1.0E-08cm.
Ap INDEX. An averaged planetary A INDEX based on data from a set of specific
ARCH FILAMENT SYSTEM (AFS).  A bright, compact PLAGE crossed by a system of
          small, arched FILAMENTS, which is often a sign of rapid or contin-
          ued growth in an ACTIVE REGION.
ASTRONOMICAL UNIT (AU).  The mean earth-sun distance, equal to 1.496E+13cm
          or 214.94 solar radii.
AURORA.   A faint visual phenomenon associated with geomagnetic activity,
          which occurs mainly in the high-latitude night sky; typical
          auroras are 100 to 250 km above the ground.
AURORAL OVAL.  An oval band around each geomagnetic pole which is the locus
          of structured AURORAe.
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX.  The EQUINOX that occurs in September.
BARTEL'S ROTATION NUMBER.  The serial number assigned to 27-day rotation
          periods of solar and geophysical parameters.  Rotation 1 in this
          sequence was assigned arbitrarily by Bartel to begin in January
BRIGHT SURGE ON THE DISK (BSD).  A bright gaseous stream (SURGE) emanating
          from the CHROMOSPHERE.
BRIGHT SURGE ON THE LIMB (BSL).  A large gaseous stream (SURGE) that moves
          outward more than 0.15 solar radius above the LIMB.
BURST.    A transient enhancement of the solar RADIO EMISSION, usually
          associated with an ACTIVE REGION or FLARE.
CARRINGTON LONGITUDE.  A system of fixed longitudes rotating with the sun.
CENTIMETER BURST.  A solar radio burst in the centimeter wavelength range.
          feature across the longitude meridian that passes through the
          apparent center of the solar DISK.
CHROMOSPHERE.  The layer of the solar atmosphere above the PHOTOSPHERE and
          beneath the TRANSITION REGION and the CORONA.
CONJUGATE POINTS.  Two points on the earth's surface, at opposite ends of a
          geomagnetic field line.
CONTINUUM STORM (CTM).  General term for solar noise lasting for hours and
          sometimes days.
COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME.  By international agreement, the local time at
          the prime meridian, which passes through Greenwich, England.
          Therefore, it is also known as GREENWICH MEAN TIME, or sometimes
          simply UNIVERSAL TIME.
CORONA.   The outermost layer of the solar atmosphere, characterized by low
          densities (<1.0E+09/cc) and high temperatures (>1,0E+06deg.K).
CORONAL HOLE.  An extended region of the CORONA, exceptionally low in density
          and associated with unipolar photospheric regions.
CORONAL RAIN (CRN).  Material condensing in the CORONA and appearing to rain
          down into the CHROMOSPHERE as observed in H-ALPHA at the solar LIMB
          above strong SUNSPOTS.
CORONAL TRANSIENTS.  A general term for short-time-scale changes in the
          CORONA, but principally used to describe outward-moving PLASMA
COSMIC RAY.  An extremely energetic (relativistic) charged particle.
CROCHET.  A sudden deviation in the sunlit geomagnetic field (H component;
          see GEOMAGNETIC ELEMENTS) associated with large solar FLARE X-ray
D REGION. A daytime layer of the earth's IONOSPHERE approximately 50 to
          90 km in altitude.
DARK SURGE ON DISK (DSD).  Dark gaseous ejections visible in H-ALPHA.
          latitudes rotate at a faster angular rate  (approx. 14 degrees per
          day) than do high latitudes (approx. 12 degrees per day).
DISAPPEARING SOLAR FILAMENT (DSF).  The sudden (timescale of minutes to
          hours) disappearance of a solar FILAMENT (PROMINENCE).
DISK.     The visible surface of the sun (or any heavenly body) projected
          against the sky.
Dst INDEX.  A geomagnetic index describing variations in the equatorial RING
E REGION.  A daytime layer of the earth's ionosphere roughly between the
          altitudes of 85 and 140 km.
EMERGING FLUX REGION (EFR).  An area on the sun where new magnetic flux is
          ted and is seen to ascend from the sun.
EXTREMELY LOW FREQUENCY (ELF).  That portion of the radio frequency spectrum
          from 30 to 3000 hertz.
EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET (EUV).  A portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from
          approximately 100 to 1000 angstroms.
F CORONA.  Of the white-light CORONA (that is, the corona seen by the eye at
          a total solar ECLIPSE), that portion which is caused by sunlight
          scattered or reflected by solid particles (dust) in inter-
          planetary space.
F REGION.  The upper layer of the IONOSPHERE, approximately 120 to 1500 km
          in altitude.  The F region is subdivided into the F1 and F2
          regions.  The F2 region is the most dense and peaks at altitudes
          between 200 and 600 km.  The F1 region is a smaller peak in
          electron density, which forms at lower altitudes in the daytime.
FACULA.   A bright region of the PHOTOSPHERE seen in white light, seldom
          visible except near the solar LIMB.
FIBRIL.   A linear pattern in the H-ALPHA CHROMOSPHERE of the sun, as seen
          through an H-alpha filter, occurring near strong SUNSPOTS and
          PLAGE or in FILAMENT channels.
FILAMENT.  A mass of gas suspended over the PHOTOSPHERE by magnetic fields
          and seen as dark lines threaded over the solar DISK.  A filament
          on the LIMB of the sun seen in emission against the dark sky is
          called a PROMINENCE.
FILAMENT CHANNEL.  A broad pattern of FIBRILS in the CHROMOSPHERE, marking
          where a FILAMENT may soon form or where a filament recently
FLARE.    A sudden eruption of energy on the solar DISK lasting minutes to
          hours, from which radiation and particles are emitted.
fMIN.     The lowest radiowave frequency that can be reflected from the
foEs.     The maximum ORDINARY MODE radiowave frequency capable of reflec-
          tion from the SPORADIC E REGION of the IONOSPHERE.
foF2.     The maximum ORDINARY MODE radiowave frequency capable of reflec-
          tion from the F2 REGION of the IONOSPHERE.
FORBUSH DECREASE.  An abrupt decrease, of at least 10%, of the background
          galactic COSMIC RAY intensity as observed by neutron monitors.
GAMMA.    A unit of magnetic field intensity equal to 1 x 10.0E-05 GAUSS,
          also equal to 1 NANOTESLA.
GAMMA RAYS.  High energy radiation (energies in excess of 100 keV) observed
          during large, extremely energetic solar FLARES.
GAUSS.    The unit of magnetic induction in the cgs (centimeter-gram-
          second) system.
GEOMAGNETIC ELEMENTS.  The components of the geomagnetic field at the sur-
          face of the earth.  In SESC use, the northward and eastward
          components are often called the H and D components, where the
          D component is expressed in gammas and is derived from D (the
          declination angle) using the small angle approximation.
GEOMAGNETIC FIELD.  The magnetic field observed in and around the earth.
          The intensity of the magnetic field at the earth's surface is
          approximately 0.32 gauss at the equator and 0.62 gauss at the
          north pole.
GEOMAGNETIC STORM.  A worldwide disturbance of the earth's magnetic field,
          distinct from regular diurnal variations.
          Minor Geomagnetic Storm:  A storm for which the Ap index was
               greater than 29 and less than 50.
          Major Geomagnetic Storm:  A storm for which the Ap index was
               greater than 49 and less than 100.
          Severe Geomagnetic Storm:  A storm for which the Ap index was
               100 or more.
          Initial Phase:  Of a geomagnetic storm, that period when there
               may be an increase of the MIDDLE-LATITUDE horizontal
               intensity (H).
          Main Phase:  Of a geomagnetic storm, that period when the hori-
               zontal magnetic field at middle latitudes is generally
          Recovery Phase:  Of a geomagnetic storm, that period when the
               depressed northward field component returns to normal levels.
GEOSYNCHRONOUS.  Term applied to any equatorial satellite with an orbital
          velocity equal to the rotational velocity of the earth.  The net
          effect is that the satellite is virtually motionless with respect
          to an observer on the ground.
GMT.      Greenwich Mean Time. (See COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME.)
GRADUAL COMMENCEMENT.  The commencement of a geomagnetic storm that has
          no well-defined onset.
GRANULATION.   Cellular structure of the PHOTOSPHERE visible at high spatial
GREEN LINE.  The green line is one of the strongest (and first-recognized)
          visible coronal lines.  It identifies moderate temperature regions
          of the CORONA.
GROUND-LEVEL EVENT (GLE).  A sharp increase in ground-level COSMIC RAY count
          to at least 10% above background, associated with solar protons of
          energies greater than 500 MeV.  GLEs are relatively rare, occur-
          ring only a few times each SOLAR CYCLE.
H-ALPHA.  This ABSORPTION LINE of neutral hydrogen falls in the red part of
          the visible spectrum and is convenient for solar observations.
          The H-alpha line is universally used for patrol observations of
          solar flares.
H-component of the Geomagnetic Field.  See GEOMAGNETIC ELEMENTS.
HIGH LATITUDES.  With specific reference to zones of geomagnetic activity,
          "high latitudes" refers to 50o to 80o geomagnetic.
HIGH-SPEED STREAM.  A feature of the SOLAR WIND having velocities that are
          about double average solar wind values.
HOMOLOGOUS FLARES.  Solar flares that occur repetitively in the same ACTIVE
          REGION, with essentially the same position and with a common
          pattern of development.
HYDER FLARE.  A FILAMENT-associated TWO-RIBBON FLARE, often occurring in
          spotless regions.  The flare presumably results from the impact
          on the CHROMOSPHERE of infalling FILAMENT material.
INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FIELD (IMF).  The magnetic field carried with the
          SOLAR WIND.
IONOSPHERE.  The region of the earth's upper atmosphere containing a small
          percentage of free electrons and ions produced by photoioniza-
          tion of the constituents of the atmosphere by solar ultraviolet
          radiation at very short wavelengths (<1000 angstroms).  The
          ionosphere significantly influences radiowave propagation of fre-
          quencies less than about 30 MHz.
IONOSPHERIC STORM.  A disturbance in the F REGION of the IONOSPHERE, which
          occurs in connection with geomagnetic activity.
K CORONA. Of the white-light CORONA (that is, the corona seen by the eye at a
          total solar eclipse), that portion which is caused by sunlight
          scattered by electrons in the hot outer atmosphere of the sun.
K INDEX.  A 3-hourly quasi-logarithmic local index of geomagnetic activity
          relative to an assumed quiet-day curve for the recording site.
          Range is from 0 to 9.  The K index measures the deviation of the
          most disturbed horizontal component.
KELVIN.   A unit of absolute temperature.
Kp INDEX. A 3-hourly planetary geomagnetic index of activity generated in
          Gottingen, Germany, based on the K INDEX from 12 or 13 stations
          distributed around the world.
LEADER SPOT.  In a magnetically bipolar or multipolar SUNSPOT group, the
          western part precedes and the main spot in that part is called the
LIGHT BRIDGE.  Observed in white light, a bright tongue or streaks penetra-
          ting or crossing SUNSPOT UMBRAe.  The appearance of a light bridge
          is frequently a sign of impending region division or dissolution.
LIMB.     The edge of the solar DISK.
LIMB FLARE.  A solar FLARE seen at the edge (LIMB) of the sun.
LOOP PROMINENCE SYSTEM (LPS).   A system of loop prominences associated with
          major FLARES.
LOW FREQUENCY (LF).  That portion of the radio frequency spectrum from 30 to
          300 kHz.
M 3000.   The optimum HIGH FREQUENCY radio wave with a 3000 km range, which
          reflects only once from the IONOSPHERE (single hop transmission).
MAGNETIC BAY.  A relatively smooth excursion of the H (horizontal) component
          (see GEOMAGNETIC ELEMENTS) of the geomagnetic field away from and
          returning to quiet levels.
MAGNETOGRAM.  Solar magnetograms are a graphic representation of solar mag-
          netic field strengths and polarity.
MAGNETOPAUSE.  The boundary layer between the SOLAR WIND and the MAGNETO-
MAGNETOSPHERE.  The magnetic cavity surrounding the earth, carved out of the
          passing SOLAR WIND by virtue of the GEOMAGNETIC FIELD, which pre-
          vents, or at least impedes, the direct entry of the solar wind
          PLASMA into the cavity.
MeV.      Mega (million) electronvolt.  A unit of energy used to describe the
          total energy carried by a particle or photon.
MEDIUM FREQUENCY (MF).  That portion of the radio frequency spectrum from 0.3
          to 3 MHz.
MICROWAVE BURST.  A radiowave signal associated with optical and/or X-ray
MIDDLE LATITUDES.  With specific reference to zones of geomagnetic activity,
          "middle latitudes" refers to 20 deg. to 50 deg. geomagnetic.
          Alpha.  Denotes a unipolar SUNSPOT group.
          Beta.  A sunspot group having both positive and negative mag-
               netic polarities, with a simple and distinct division between
               the polarities.
          Beta-Gamma.  A sunspot group that is bipolar but in which no
               continuous line can be drawn separating spots of opposite
          Delta.  A complex magnetic configuration of a solar sunspot
               group consisting of opposite polarity UMBRAe within the same
          Gamma.  A complex ACTIVE REGION in which the positive and nega-
               tive polarities are so irregularly distributed as to prevent
               classification as a bipolar group.
NANOTESLA (nT).  A unit of magnetism 10.0E-09 tesla, equivalent to a gamma
          (10.0E-05 gauss).
NEUTRAL LINE.  The line that separates longitudinal magnetic fields of oppo-
          site polarity.
PENUMBRA. The SUNSPOT area that may surround the darker UMBRA or umbrae.  It
          consists of linear bright and dark elements radial from the sunspot
PERSISTENCE.  Continuation of existing conditions.  When a physical parameter
          varies slowly, the best prediction is often persistence.
PHOTOSPHERE.  The lowest layer of the solar atmosphere; corresponds to the
          solar surface viewed in WHITE LIGHT.  SUNSPOTs and  FACULAe are
          observed in the photosphere.
PLAGE.    An extended emission feature of an ACTIVE REGION that exists from
          the emergence of the first magnetic flux until the widely scattered
          remnant magnetic fields merge with the background.
PLAGE CORRIDOR.  A space in chromospheric (see CHROMOSPHERE) PLAGE lacking
          plage intensity, coinciding with polarity inversion line.
PLASMA.   Any ionized gas, that is, any gas containing ions and electrons.
POLAR CAP ABSORPTION (PCA).  An anomalous condition of the polar IONOSPHERE
          whereby HF and VHF (3 - 300  MHz) radiowaves are absorbed, and LF
          and VLF (3 - 300 kHz) radiowaves are reflected at lower altitudes
          than normal.  In practice, the absorption is inferred from the
          proton flux at energies greater than 10 MeV, so that PCAs and
          PROTON EVENTs are simultaneous.  Transpolar radio paths may still
          be disturbed for days, up to weeks, following the end of a proton
          RIBBON FLARE, which bridges the ribbons.
PROMINENCE.  A term identifying cloud-like features in the solar atmosphere.
          The features appear as bright structures in the CORONA above the
          solar LIMB and as dark FILAMENTs when seen projected against the
          solar DISK.
PROTON EVENT.  By definition, the measurement of at least 10
          protons/ at energies greater than 10 MeV.
PROTON FLARE.  Any FLARE producing significant FLUXes of greater-than-10 MeV
          protons in the vicinity of the earth.
QUIESCENT PROMINENCE (FILAMENT).  Long, sheet-like prominences nearly vertical
          to the solar surface.
QUIET.    A descriptive word specifically meaning geomagnetic levels such that
          Ap < 8 (see Ap INDEX).
RADIO EMISSION.  Emissions of the sun in radio wavelengths from centimeters
          to dekameters, under both quiet and disturbed conditions.
          Type I.  A noise storm composed of many short, narrow-band bursts
               in the metric range (300 - 50 MHz).
          Type II.  Narrow-band emission that begins in the meter range
               (300 MHz) and sweeps slowly (tens of minutes) toward deka-
               meter wavelengths (10 MHz).  Type II emissions occur in
               loose association with major FLAREs and are indicative of
               a SHOCK wave moving through the solar atmosphere.
          Type III.  Narrow-band bursts that sweep rapidly (seconds) from
               decimeter to dekameter wavelengths (500 - 0.5 MHz).  They
               often occur in groups and are an occasional feature of complex
               solar ACTIVE REGIONs.
          Type IV.  A smooth continuum of broad-band bursts primarily in the
               meter range (300 - 30 MHz).  These bursts are associated with
               some major flare events beginning 10 to 20 minutes after the
               flare maximum, and can last for hours.
RECURRENCE.  Used especially in reference to the recurrence of physical
          parameters every 27 days (the rotation period of the sun).
RIOMETER (Relative Ionospheric Opacity meter).  A specially designed radio
          receiver for continuous monitoring of COSMIC NOISE.  The
          absorption of cosmic noise in the polar regions is very
          sensitive to the solar low-energy cosmic ray flux.
SECTOR BOUNDARY.  In the SOLAR WIND, the area of demarcation between sec-
          tors, which are large-scale features distinguished by the
          predominant direction of the interplanetary magnetic field,
          toward or away from the sun.
SHORT WAVE FADE (SWF).  A particular ionospheric solar flare effect under
          the broad category of sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs)
          whereby short-wavelength radio transmissions, VLF, through
          HF, are absorbed for a period of minutes to hours.
SMOOTHED SUNSPOT NUMBER.  An average of 13 monthly RI numbers, centered on
          the month of concern.
          Central Meridian Distance (CMD).  The angular distance in solar
               longitude measured from the central meridian.
SOLAR CYCLE.  The approximately 11-year quasi-periodic variation in frequency
          or number of solar active events.
SOLAR MAXIMUM.  The month(s) during the SOLAR CYCLE when the 12-month mean
          of monthly average SUNSPOT NUMBERS reaches a maximum.  The most
          recent solar maximum occurred in December 1979.
SOLAR MINIMUM.  The month(s) during the SOLAR CYCLE when the 12-month mean
          of monthly average SUNSPOT NUMBERS reaches a minimum.
SOLAR SECTOR BOUNDARY (SSB).  The apparent solar origin, or base, of the
          interplanetary SECTOR BOUNDARY marked by the larger-scale polarity
          inversion lines.
SOLAR WIND.  The outward flux of solar particles and magnetic fields from the
          sun.  Typically, solar wind velocities are near 350 km/s.
SPORADIC E.  A phenomenon occurring in the E REGION of the IONOSPHERE, which
          significantly affects HF radiowave propagation.  Sporadic E can
          occur during daytime or nighttime and it varies markedly with

SUDDEN COMMENCEMENT(SC, or SSC for Storm Sudden Commencement).  An abrupt
          increase or decrease in the northward component of the geomagnetic
          field, which marks the beginning of a GEOMAGNETIC STORM.
SUDDEN IMPULSE (SI+ or SI-).  A sudden perturbation of several gammas
          in the northward component of the low-latitude geomagnetic field,
          not associated with a following GEOMAGNETIC STORM.  (An SI becomes
          an SC if a storm follows.)
SUDDEN IONOSPHERIC DISTURBANCE (SID).  HF propagation anomalies due to
          ionospheric changes resulting from solar FLAREs, PROTON EVENTs
          and GEOMAGNETIC STORMs.
SUNSPOT.  An area seen as a dark spot on the PHOTOSPHERE of the sun.  Sunspots
          are concentrations of magnetic flux, typically occurring in bipolar
          clusters or groups.  They appear dark because they are cooler than
          the surrounding photosphere.
SUNSPOT GROUP CLASSIFICATION (Modified Zurich Sunspot Classification).
          A -  A small single unipolar SUNSPOT or very small group of
               spots without PENUMBRA.
          B -  Bipolar sunspot group with no penumbra.
          C -  An elongated bipolar sunspot group.  One sunspot must have
          D -  An elongated bipolar sunspot group with penumbra on both ends
               of the group.
          E -  An elongated bipolar sunspot group with penumbra on both
               ends.  Longitudinal extent of penumbra exceeds 10 deg. but
               not 15 deg.
          F -  An elongated bipolar sunspot group with penumbra on both
               ends.  Longitudinal extent of penumbra exceeds 15 deg.
          H -  A unipolar sunspot group with penumbra.
SUNSPOT NUMBER.  A daily index of SUNSPOT activity (R), defined as
          R = k (10 g + s) where S = number of individual spots, g =
          number of sunspot groups, and k is an observatory factor.
SURGE.    A jet of material from ACTIVE REGIONs that reaches coronal heights
          and then either fades or returns into the CHROMOSPHERE along the
          trajectory of ascent.
TWO-RIBBON FLARE.  A FLARE that has developed as a pair of bright strands
          (ribbons) on both sides of the main inversion ("neutral") line
          of the magnetic field of the ACTIVE REGION.
U BURST.  A fast radio burst spectrum of a FLARE.  It has a U-shaped appear-
          ance in an intensity-vs.-frequency plot.
ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY (UHF).  Those radio frequencies exceeding 300 MHz.
UMBRA.    The dark core or cores (umbrae) in a SUNSPOT with PENUMBRA, or a
          sunspot lacking penumbra.
UNSETTLED.  With regard to geomagnetic levels, a descriptive word speci-
          fically meaning that 7 < the Ap INDEX < 15.
VERY HIGH FREQUENCY (VHF).  That portion of the radio frequency spectrum
          from 30 to 300 MHz.
VERY LOW FREQUENCY (VLF).  That portion of the radio frequency spectrum from
          3 to 30 kHz.
WHITE LIGHT (WL).  Sunlight integrated over the visible portion of the spec-
          trum (4000 - 7000 angstroms) so that all colors are blended to
          appear white to the eye.
WHITE LIGHT FLARE.  A major FLARE in which small parts become visible in
          white light.  Such flares are usually strong X-ray, radio, and
          particle emitters.
WOLF NUMBER.  An historic term for SUNSPOT NUMBER.  In 1849, R. Wolf of
          Zurich originated the general procedure for computing the sunspot
X-RAY BACKGROUND.  A daily average background X-ray FLUX in the 1 to 8
          angstrom range.  It is a midday minimum designed to reduce the
          effects of FLAREs.
X-RAY BURST.  A temporary enhancement of the X-ray emission of the sun.  The
          time-intensity profile of soft X-ray bursts is similar to that of
          the H-ALPHA profile of an associated FLARE.
X-RAY FLARE CLASS.  Rank of a FLARE based on its X-ray energy output.  Flares
          are classified by the order of magnitude of the peak burst inten-
          sity (I) measured at the earth in the 1 to 8 angstrom band as
             Class          (in Watt/sq. Meter)
               B              I < 10.0E-06
               C              10.0E-06 <= I <= 10.0E-05
               M              10.0E-05 <= I <= 10.0E-04
               X              I >= 10.0E-04

ZURICH SUNSPOT CLASSIFICATION.  A sunspot classification system that has been
          modified for SESC use. 

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