Solar weather monitoring

Canada has been a leader in the world's observations of the Sun, driving forward our knowledge of solar weather and phenomena since 1947. Because of the significant impact that space weather has on Earth, in particular on our power, communications and transportation infrastructure, the NRC continues to monitor the Sun to this day, providing data to the world.

The primary data product is one of the most widely used indices of solar activity and is known internationally as the 10.7 cm solar radio flux, or F10.7.

Technical service highlights

The data currently available includes solar radio emission measurements and activity measurement at a wavelength of 10.7 cm. This is an optimum wavelength for monitoring the level of solar activity, and the measurements provide an effective "stethoscope on solar behaviour."

Data are available through direct emails to high-priority users, data websites such as Space Weather Canada, and other sites around the world, such as the US National Geophysical Data Center (Boulder, Colorado). The 10.7 cm solar radio flux is the most widely used single piece of astronomical information produced by Canada.

What we offer

Today the NRC works in partnership with Natural Resources Canada to provide data services on solar activity and solar radio emissions. These are provided to any industry or organization involved in activities that are vulnerable to space weather or otherwise need to know more about the Sun's activities: from astronautics and aviation, to power utilities, geophysical exploration and meteorologists.

The data are obtained using 2 solar flux monitors, operating at a wavelength of 10.7 cm. A new instrument, the next generation solar flux monitor, developed with the support of Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Space Agency, provides data at 5 additional wavelengths, as part of developing data products meeting a wider range of user needs.

For more information about Canadian space weather services, forecasts and other information, go to Space Weather Canada.

Contact us

To learn more about the NRC's Solar Weather Monitoring program, please contact:

Andrew Gray, Research Council Officer
Telephone: 250-497-2313