Amateur radio, Digital Modes

Aurora Activity

10/07/2015

Here is a post from the great Spaceweather.com site talking about current aurora activity which might produce unsettled RF conditions. This can also mean some unusual propagation opportunities could exist for extended HF and VHF due to high ionization of the upper atmosphere. While such activity makes most HF listening difficult, sometimes 10 meters and above actually open up, however erratically, and contacts can be made that would not normally be possible. If using some of the digital modes such as weak-signal modes, even more contacts can be logged. Might be worth a try  . . . .

“URBAN AURORAS” DAZZLE ARCTIC CITIES: Last night, Oct. 6th, sky watchers around the Arctic Circle witnessed an outburst of auroras so bright that they were visible alongside glaring city lights. “We enjoyed a wonderful evening of ‘urban auroras’,” reports Anne Birgitte Fyhn, who took this picture of Northern Lights surrounding the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway:

“We could see the auroras everywhere,” she says. “They waved above street lights, car lights, and all around our city. It seems that we will have no time for sleeping this week.”

She might be right, because the Oct. 6th display heralds an even stronger display in the offing. During the late hours of Oct. 7th a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between slow- and fast-moving solar wind streams. Solar wind plasma piles up in these regions, producing density gradients and shock waves that do a good job of sparking auroras. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% to 75% chance of G2-class geomagnetic storms when the CIR arrives.


I would love to hear from anyone who gives this a go, and I will post any good fortune I have as well! 73, Robert


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