Tag Archives: Solar Flare

Radio blackout: X-Ray Event exceeds X1


I’ve heard from several of you this morning that the shortwave bands are dead.

It’s not your radio…it’s our sun. We’re currently experiencing an X-ray event exceeding X1 on the NOAA Space Weather Scale. This equates to wide area blackout of HF radio communication and loss of radio contact for about an hour on sunlit side of Earth.

SWLing Post reader, Richard Langley, shares this space weather alert from NOAA:

Space Weather Message Code: SUMX01
Serial Number: 105
Issue Time: 2014 Oct 22 1454 UTC

SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Oct 22 1402 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Oct 22 1428 UTC
End Time: 2014 Oct 22 1450 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.6
Optical Class: 2b
Location: S14E13
NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong

NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.

Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour.

Fear not, this shall eventually pass and SWLing will return to normal. Indeed, you might even catch a few rare band openings between event. I believe you can expect overall unsettled conditions near term, based on recent solar history.

Incredible band openings tonight

X1.6 Solar Flare, sunspot 2158 (source: Solar Ham)

X1.6 Solar Flare, sunspot 2158 (source: Solar Ham)

After an X class solar flare that caused a serious HF radio black-out earlier today, we’ve been rewarded with superb radio conditions this evening in North America.

This is, perhaps, one of the best temporary band openings I’ve experienced this year.  Unfortunately, there’s a good chance an incoming CME could wipe out the bands again in the next 12-24 hours. Check out the forecast here: http://www.solarham.net/

But who cares? The following are just some of the stations I logged on 25 and 31 meters this evening.  Note that I didn’t include all of the weak stations I could hear and I also omitted many CRI, RHC, and religious broadcasts:

Starting 22:00 UTC on 25 meters

  • 11780 RN da Amazonia
  • 11810 KBS World Radio
  • 11820 Radio Riyadh
  • 11855 Radio Aparecida
  • 11880 RHC French
  • 11915 Radio Riyadh
  • 11930 Radio Marti
  • 11940 Radio Romania International
  • 11965 RHC? (French)
  • 12050 EWTN (WEWN)

Starting 23:00 UTC on 31 meters

  • 9420 Voice of Iran
  • 9535 Radio Exterior de Espana
  • 9575 Radio Mediterranee International
  • 9620 Radio Exterior de Espana
  • 9645 Radio Bandeirantes
  • 9665 Radio Voz Missionaria (with WRM from other broadcasters)
  • 9740 Radio Romania International (Spanish)
  • 9765 Radio Romania International
  • 9795 FEBC Radio (under heavy QRM)
  • 9850 Radio Tirana
  • 9855 Radio Australia
  • 9875 Radio Free Asia (Tibetan)
  • 9900 (RA?) English
  • 9965 Radio Cairo
  • 10000 WWV

Staring 00:00 UTC on 31 meters

  • 9420 Voice of Iran, then ERT Open (VOG)
  • 9500 Radio Sultanate of Oman
  • 9520 Radio Romania International (Romanian)
  • 9535 Radio Exterior de Espana
  • 9550 Radio Boa Ventade
  • 9570 China Radio International English
  • 9530 Radio Transmundial
  • 9620 Radio Exterior de Espana
  • 9630 China National Radio 1
  • 9645 Radio Bandeirantes
  • 9665 Radio Voz Missionaria
  • 9690 All India Radio
  • 9700 Radio Romania International
  • 9710 China Radio International (Portuguese)
  • 9730 Adventist World Radio (Burmese)
  • 9800 China Radio International (Spanish)
  • 9810 Radio Havana Cuba
  • 9820 Radio 9 de Julho
  • 9880 Voice of America (Chinese)
  • 9930 The Overcomer Ministry
  • 9955 Radio Marti ?
  • 9965 Radio Cairo
  • 10000 WWV

Staring at 01:00 UTC on 25 meters

  • 11580 The Overcomer Ministry
  • 11590 NHK Radio Japan (Hindi)
  • 11620 All India Radio (Urdu)
  • 11640 Radio Free Asia (Uyghur)
  • 11650 China Radio International (Chinese)
  • 11670 Radio Havana Cuba (Spanish)
  • 11695 Radio Free Asia (Tibetan) ? QRM from another station
  • 11711 Radio Argentina Exterior
  • 11730 Vatican Radio (Tamil)
  • 11740 All India Radio (Sinhala)
  • 11760 Radio Havana Cuba (Spanish)
  • 11765 Radio Tupi – Super Radio Deus e Amor
  • 11780 RN da Brasilia
  • 11815 Radio Brasil Central
  • 11825 The Overcomer Ministry
  • 11840 Radio Havana Cuba (Spanish)
  • 11855 Radio Aparecida
  • 11870 EWTN – WEWN (Spanish)
  • 11905 Sri Lanka BC (English/Hindi)
  • 11925 Radio Bandeirantes
  • 11945 Radio Free Asia (Uyghur) & jamming noise
  • 11955 Radio Romania International (French)
  • 11980 China Radio International (Amoy) – vy faint
  • 11995 BBC (Hindi) vy faint
  • 12005 Voice of Vietnam (English)
  • 12020 Voice of America – Deewa Radio (Pashto)
  • 12025 UNID (Spanish / religious)
  • 12070 POssible Radio Cairo behind strong jamming or transmitter noise
  • 12105 WTWW (English)
  • 12115 Radio Free Asia (Burmese)?

Enjoy this opening while it lasts! As my buddy Mike (K8RAT) suggested earlier today, we may be rewarded with further openings if the incoming CME only glances Earth–not probable, but possible.

I’m curious how conditions have been in other parts of the world? If you’ve been enjoying this band opening, please comment with stations you’ve logged.

Wired: Listen to a Solar Flare Drown Out Radio Communications on Earth

(Photo: NASA via Wired)

(Photo: NASA via Wired)

(Source: Wired)

Over the weekend, a tiny spot on the sun erupted into a moderately sized solar flare that was particularly loud in radio waves. With the sound of a roaring wave, it completely drowned out radio communication all over the Earth between 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz.

The recording [found on this page] comes from either a short wave radio station or a Ham radio transmission, said amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft, who works with NASA’s Radio JOVE project. It’s interesting to hear the voices get “swallowed up as the solar wave passes through,” he added in an e-mail to Wired.[]

Read the full article on Wired.

Another solar storm headed to Earth

(photo: Spaceweather.com)

Even the Wall Street Journal picked up on the latest solar flare–the biggest in 5 years–which is headed towards Earth:

WASHINGTON—The largest solar flare in five years is racing toward Earth, threatening to unleash a torrent of charged particles that could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights.[…]

“It’s hitting us right in the nose,” said Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He called it the sun’s version of “Super Tuesday.”

The solar storm is likely to last through Friday morning, but the region that erupted can still send more blasts our way, Mr. Kunches said. He said another set of active sunspots is ready to aim at Earth right after this.

But for now, scientists are waiting to see what happens Thursday when the charged particles hit Earth at four million mph. [Continue reading at the WSJ]

And the latest update from Spaceweather:

GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning’s X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME’s forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm.

Expect some major geomagnetic disturbances and don’t be surprised if the shortwave bands are very quiet while we’re being blasted with electrons. On the plus side? If you live in Northern latitudes, look for some awe-inspiring auroras in the night sky.