Tag Archives: Tamitha Skov

Radio propagation may improve soon with region of solar flux

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen, who shares this latest Space Weather report from Tamitha Skov:

Space Weather jumps into action this week with two weak solar storms en route to Earth. NASA models predict they will hit starting July 9 and they could easily bring aurora to high latitudes, if not mid-latitudes. Amateur radio operators are also in for some fun as a new region rotates into view and brings with it a boost in solar flux, which will help radio propagation just in time for hurricane season. GPS users shouldn’t be affected by the low-level flaring of this region on Earth’s day side, but should stay vigilant near aurora and near the dawn-dusk terminators for glitches in their reception. Low-latitude GPS/GNSS reception might even improve under the influence of these weak solar storms. See details of the coming storms, when this new active region will be in view, catch up on aurora photos, and see what else is in store!

Click here to view on YouTube.

Skov notes possible role of amateur radio tech with Mars OTH communications

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Over-the-horizon communication on Mars

ARRL highlights a post by The Space Weather Woman, Dr. Tamitha Skov, that notes the role amateur radio technology could play in over-the-horizon radio communications on Mars

I am still smiling at the huge response I got to a post I put up on Twitter this week. A newbie to our Space Weather community dared to talk about Amateur Radio as if it were an outdated hobby– whoops, bad idea. I gently educated him.
In doing so, I roused many radio amateurs and emergency communicators, who added their own comments and talked about their own personal experiences in the field. It was very gratifying.

What I hadn’t expected, however, was the strong interest in the concept that amateur radio will be critical to establishing over-the-horizon radio communications on planets like Mars in the near future.

This idea brings me back to how we managed to communicate over long distances many decades before we had satellites, internet or cellular networks. In terms of wireless communications on Earth, we were very much in the same place back in the early 1900s that we find ourselves in now when we think about colonizing Mars.
Yet few people realize that despite all our advanced technology, we can’t bring a cell phone to Mars. We will need to fall back on our ‘old ways’ of doing things when it comes to communicating on other planets. Isn’t it funny how ‘old’ things become ‘new’ again?

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/the-k7ra-solar-update-527

Space Weather Woman
http://www.spaceweatherwoman.com/
https://twitter.com/TamithaSkov

Dr. Tamitha Skov’s latest video report:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Last week, Earth dodged a powerful X-Class solar flare

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Guerin, who shares this article at CNN by Dr. Don Lincoln, a senior physicist at Fermilab and researcher at the Large Hadron Collider:

Earth dodges a cosmic bullet — for now

Solar flares and related phenomena could cause tremendous damage to the Earth’s electric grids, writes Don Lincoln Read the full story

(CNN) Mother Nature has had a hectic past couple of weeks of hurricanes, an earthquake, wildfires and flooding. But while our attention has been turned to these humanitarian crises, Earth ducked a cosmic bullet the likes of which could have crippled human technological civilization.

Over the last week or so, the sun has experienced a series of solar flares, including the most energetic one in a decade. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy in the vicinity of a sunspot is released, resulting in a bright spot on the sun that takes place over a time scale of perhaps 10 minutes — or even less.

[…]While solar flares can interfere with satellites, an even more dangerous phenomenon is called a coronal mass ejection (or CME). CMEs often accompany a flare and occur when some of the sun’s highly ionized material is ejected into space. Because a CME consists of matter and not the electromagnetic radiation of a flare, it can take a day or even more to travel from the sun to the Earth. Indeed, last week’s flares were accompanied by a CME, but it didn’t hit the Earth with its full fury.

If a CME happens to be aimed directly at Earth, the ionized particles can slam into the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth and distort its shape, a process called a geomagnetic storm. That’s when things can get dangerous. Moving magnetic fields can induce electrical currents on the Earth’s surface and damage equipment.

In 1989, a CME hit the Earth and knocked out power in Quebec and the northeast United States for nine hours. And in 1859, an enormous CME hit the Earth. Called the Carrington Event, after Richard Carrington, who observed and recorded it, this geomagnetic storm caused telegraph pylons and railroad rails to spark, shocked telegraph operators and was responsible for auroras visible at least as far south as Havana, Cuba, with some claims of auroras being observed near the Earth’s equator.

[…]A report by Lloyd’s of London in 2013 estimated that the damage to the US grid from a repeat of the Carrington Event would be in the range of $0.6-$2.3 trillion dollars and would require four to 10 years to repair.

“The total U.S. population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with durations of 16 days to 1-2 years,” the Lloyd’s report said.[…]

Read this full article at CNN…

Many thanks as well to Mike Hansgen (K8RAT) who also shares the latest space weather news from Tamitha Skov, reiterating how fortunate we were to miss this last barrage from our local star:

Click here to watch on YouTube.

EMP article incoming…

One additional note: I’m currently in the process of writing a lengthy article about how to protect your gear from an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) emanating from an event like this. In the past two weeks, I’ve had an uptick in inquiries about this, so I thought it best to consult an expert and produce a post. I’ll hopefully have this article published within a week or so. I’ll post it with the tag: EMP.