The GOES x-ray plots shown here are used to track solar activity and solar flares. Large solar x-ray flares can change the Earth’s ionosphere, which blocks high-frequency (HF) radio transmissions on the sunlit side of the Earth. Solar flares are also associated with Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) which can ultimately lead to geomagnetic storms. SWPC sends out space weather alerts at the M5 (5x10-5 Watts/mw) level. Some large flares are accompanied by strong radio bursts that may interfere with other radio frequencies and cause problems for satellite communication and radio navigation (GPS).
The GOES X-ray flux 6-hour and three-day plots contain 1 and 5 minute averages, respectively, of solar X-rays in the 1-8 Angstrom (0.1-0.8 nm) and 0.5-4.0 Angstrom (0.05-0.4 nm) passbands. Data from the SWPC Primary GOES X-ray satellite is shown. Some data dropouts occur during satellite eclipses when the moon or Earth comes between the satellite and the sun, especially during the spring and fall. The Eclipse season lasts for about 45 to 60 days and ranges from minutes to just over an hour. The plots on this page update dynamically every minute.
GOES X-ray flux measurements (1 - 8 Angstrom flux) have been made since 1986 and, prior to that, on the NOAA SMS satellites since 1974. SWPC has used this data to produce the 1-minute and 5-minute averaged X-ray data sets and plots. For more information on the GOES satellites and their X-ray measurements see: GOES measurement data information