Solar Physics

, Volume 291, Issue 9–10, pp 3011–3023 | Cite as

Comparing SSN Index to X-Ray Flare and Coronal Mass Ejection Rates from Solar Cycles 22 – 24

  • L. M. WinterEmail author
  • R. L. Pernak
  • K. S. Balasubramaniam
Sunspot Number Recalibration


The newly revised sunspot-number series allows for placing historical geoeffective storms in the context of several hundred years of solar activity. Using statistical analyses of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) X-ray observations from the past \({\approx}\,30\) years and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) catalog (1996 – present), we present sunspot-number-dependent flare and CME rates. In particular, we present X-ray flare rates as a function of sunspot number for the past three cycles. We also show that the 1 – 8 Å X-ray background flux is strongly correlated with sunspot number across solar cycles. Similarly, we show that the CME properties (e.g. proxies related to the CME linear speed and width) are also correlated with sunspot number for Solar Cycles 23 and 24. These updated rates will enable future predictions for geoeffective events and place historical storms in the context of present solar activity.


Solar cycle, observations Flares, forecasting 



K.S. Balasubramaniam was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for research on “Physics of Coupled Flares and CMEs”. L.M. Winter and R.L. Pernak were supported, in part, by AFRL contract FA9453-11-C-0231. The CME catalog used in this study was generated and maintained at the CDAW Data Center by NASA and The Catholic University of America in cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Winter
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. L. Pernak
    • 1
  • K. S. Balasubramaniam
    • 2
  1. 1.Atmospheric and Environmental ResearchLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Battlespace Environment DivisionKirtland AFBUSA

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