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CQ Amateur Radio Communications Magazine
CQ: the world's leading independent magazine devoted to amateur radio.
CQ: the world's leading independent magazine devoted to amateur radio.


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We are in the midst of a geomagnetic storm caused by the passage of the CME produced by the x-ray flare:

AURORA ALERT: The sunspots of Active Region (AR) 2665 produced a powerful M2-class solar flare which lasted for more than two hours on July 14, 2017.


The flare was associated with a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) lasting 44 minutes and measuring 130 solar flux units (SFU). A Type IV radio emission was also logged at 02:02 UTC. Updated imagery by SDO suggests a coronal mass ejection (CME) is associated with these events.

Earth-facing coronagraph imagery reveals a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) directed mostly to the west. The STEREO Ahead spacecraft confirms that a halo CME is associated with this event and could have an Earth directed component.


A minor (S1) radiation storm is associated, with fast-moving particles already recorded moving past our planet. These solar particles are propelled into space by the x-ray flare

A moderate G2 geomagnetic storm caused by components of the CME produced by the flare is expected to impact our geomagnetic field and could lead to nice aurora at higher latitudes, sometime between the beginning of 16 July through 18 July 2017.

Stay tuned, and watch for Aurora!


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This cool video (in ultra-high definition 3840x2160 - 4k on YouTube) shows the Sun during the entire year, 2015. The video captures the Sun in the 171-angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Our naked, unaided eyes cannot see this, but this movie uses false-colorization (yellow/gold) so that we can watch in high definition.

The movie covers a time period of January 2, 2015 to January 28, 2016 at a cadence of one frame every hour, or 24 frames per day. This timelapse is repeated with narration by solar scientist Nicholeen Viall and contains close-ups and annotations. The 171-angstrom light highlights material around 600,000 Kelvin and shows features in the upper transition region and quiet corona of the sun.

The sun is always changing and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on the entire disk of the sun, with a prime view of the graceful dance of solar material coursing through the sun's atmosphere, the corona. SDO's sixth year in orbit was no exception. This video shows that entire sixth year--from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 28, 2016 as one time-lapse sequence. Each frame represents 1 hour.

SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 Kelvin (about 1 million degrees F.) In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun's 25-day rotation.

During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO orbits Earth at 6,876 mph and the Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 miles per hour.

Scientists study these images to better understand the complex electromagnetic system causing the constant movement on the sun, which can ultimately have an effect closer to Earth, too: Flares and another type of solar explosion called coronal mass ejections can sometimes disrupt technology in space. Moreover, studying our closest star is one way of learning about other stars in the galaxy. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. built, operates, and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

Please up-vote the video on Reddit, too:

Thanks for sharing, voting, and watching!


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Morse Code as a Language -- A video series by a fellow amateur radio operator.  (No, this is not my video series).  I just think these are very helpful.  Please share.  He is doing a wonderful job. There are three videos, so far, but more are coming.  This link is to the first in the playlist of informative videos about learning Morse code (CW).

73 de +NW7US  

#CW #MorseCode #HamR #HamRadio 
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Please help launch the NW7US Space Weather YouTube channel:

Tomas, +NW7US , is the propagation editor for our magazine.

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I'm +NW7US and I have been writing the radio propagation and space weather column in CQ Amateur Radio Magazine since 2002, and was also the columnist for the same topic in Popular Communications Magazine and CQ VHF Quarterly.  I also write, currently, for The Spectrum Monitor, covering these topics.

I'm often asked if there's a good technical resource that teaches about space weather and how that influences the ionospheric propagation of radio wave.  And, how do you analyze and forecast space weather and radio wave propagation?  Should I do my "Honey-do" list, or head up to the mountaintop to work DX, this weekend?

Here's an option: Learn all about space weather with the space weather and ionospheric radio wave propagation course. Explore:

Thank you for taking a look.  The proceeds go toward keeping and alive for everyone's benefit.
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NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught this video clip of an eruption on the side of the Sun during June 18, 2015. The eruption ultimately escaped the Sun, growing into a substantial coronal mass ejection, or CME.

A CME is a giant cloud of solar material traveling through space. This imagery is shown in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light (EUV), a wavelength that highlights material in the low parts of the Sun’s atmosphere and that is typically colorized in red. The video clip covers about four hours of the event.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / NASA / SDO

Thank you for watching, commenting, and most of all, for subscribing.  By subscribing, you will be kept in the loop for new videos and more... my YouTube Channel:

Music from YouTube Free-to-Use Music Library.

#spaceweather #solarstorm #spacewx #hamr #hamradio #swl #amateurradio #cme #flare #Sun #solar #astronomy #heliophysics #SDO #NASA
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Check out the largest solar flare so far in 2015.  It measured at X2.7.
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As promised, here is a video ( ) with highlights of the last five years of solar activity as seen by NASA and the SDO AIA spacecraft. This is worth seeing on a larger monitor, so try to view it full screen on something larger than your palm. The music is pretty good too. It is worth the 20-some minutes of stunning viewing. Be sure to share!

This is an example of what I am trying to produce on a more regular basis, once I launch the space weather YouTube channel that I have started. If you wish to help, here is the GoFundMe link:



This video features stunning clips of the Sun, captured by SDO from each of the five years since SDO’s deployment in 2010.  In this movie, watch giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the Sun's surface. 

April 21, 2015 marks the five-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft.  Since then, SDO has captured amazingly stunning super-high-definition images in multiple wavelengths, revealing new science, and captivating views.

February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole Sun 24 hours a day.  February 11, 2010, was the day on which NASA launched an unprecedented solar observatory into space. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) flew up on an Atlas V rocket, carrying instruments that scientists hoped would revolutionize observations of the Sun.

Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the Sun grow and erupt. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun's atmosphere, the corona. 

The imagery in this “highlight reel” provide us with examples of the kind of data that SDO provides to scientists. By watching the sun in different wavelengths (and therefore different temperatures, each “seen” at a particular wavelength that is invisible to the unaided eye) scientists can watch how material courses through the corona.  SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on the Sun such as solar flares or coronal loops, and help reveal what causes eruptions on the Sun, what heats the Sun's atmosphere up to 1,000 times hotter than its surface, and why the Sun's magnetic fields are constantly on the move.

Coronal loops are streams of solar material traveling up and down looping magnetic field lines). Solar flares are bursts of light, energy and X-rays. They can occur by themselves or can be accompanied by what's called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, in which a giant cloud of solar material erupts off the Sun, achieves escape velocity and heads off into space.

This movie shows examples of x-ray flares, coronal mass ejections, prominence eruptions when masses of solar material leap off the Sun, much like CMEs.  The movie also shows sunspot groups on the solar surface. One of these sunspot groups, a magnetically strong and complex region appearing in mid-January 2014, was one of the largest in nine years as well as a torrent of intense solar flares. In this case, the Sun produced only flares and no CMEs, which, while not unheard of, is somewhat unusual for flares of that size. Scientists are looking at that data now to see if they can determine what circumstances might have led to flares eruptions alone. 
Scientists study these images to better understand the complex electromagnetic system causing the constant movement on the sun, which can ultimately have an effect closer to Earth, too: Flares and another type of solar explosion called coronal mass ejections can sometimes disrupt technology in space as well as on Earth (disrupting shortwave communication, stressing power grids, and more). Additionally, studying our closest star is one way of learning about other stars in the galaxy. 

Goddard built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. SDO is the first mission of NASA's Living with a Star Program. The program's goal is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect our lives and society.

Thank you for subscribing, and comments are welcome.

-- Tomas / Amateur Radio Operator, NW7US ( )

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Music Via YouTube "Free-for-use" Creation Tools

Video clips of the Sun are from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO which are in the Public Domain:


Category: Science & Technology
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Hi, I'm the radio propagation & space weather columnist in "The Spectrum Monitor (and for the last 14 years, in CQ Magazine, too). I invite you to check out the Space Weather + Ham Radio educational course at

Why get the educational self-study course? Because, this is not your average source of information on radio propagation and space weather. This self-study course offers in-depth knowledge that equips you to make your own forecasts, and to understand what is going on when you are making contacts on the shortwave bands.

Do you wish to learn about space weather and how to know when aurora is possible? Do you want to learn about space weather, the Sun-Earth connection, solar flares, sunspots, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and more? Do you want to learn how to forecast space weather? 

Or, do you want to learn all about space weather and radio signal propagation via the ionosphere! Want to gain the competitive edge in radio DX contests? Want to forecast the radio propagation for the next weekend? Do you want to understand radio signal propagation? Want to understand how space weather affects raio propagation?

Well, what are you waiting for?  Browse here, now: 

Some amateur radio operators may say, "But, I like the magic of just getting on the air and trying my luck! If I learn all this stuff, then it becomes science, and not a hobby." It is true that there's a joy at being dazzled with the magic of radio; buy a super cool transceiver, and a factory-made antenna with coax already fitted with connectors, adding the necessary accessories to make it come alive, then begin exploring the shortwave frequencies. Magical, indeed! But, there are many in the hobby that wish to learn how all of that works. Some even begin learning how to build antennas, radio kits, and discover the joy of the "science" of radio. A few eventually take the step with gained "scientific" knowledge of electronics, and they design and build equipment for their hobby. The course is part of that mix: learning how the Sun affects getting a radio signal from point A to point B, and how to leverage their time and efforts, is a joy, indeed.

A list of the topics covered in this home-study course include:

+ The Sun
+ Basics of the Sun
+ Sunspots
+ Types of Sunspots
+ Sunspot Magnetic Fields
+ Solar Radiation and Radio Emissions
+ Solar Cycles
+ Techniques for Modelling Solar Cycles
+ Sources of Information and Imagery
+ Interplanetary Space
+ The Solar Wind
+ Magnetic Fields
+ Heliospheric Current Sheet
+ Solar Sector Structures
+ The Earth
+ Magnetosphere
+ The quiet magnetosphere
+ The disturbed magnetosphere
+ Understanding Magnetic Indices
+ Magnetic Storms
+ Sudden Storm Commencements (SSCs)
+ Gradual Storm Commencements
+ Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs)
+ Effects on Electrical Hydro Systems
+ Effects on Other Long Conductors
+ Ionosphere
+ Formation of Ionospheric Layers
+ Factors Affecting Ionospheric Layers
+ Solar Disturbances
+ Transient Solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
+ Types and Structures of Coronal Mass Ejections
+ Understanding the Importance of CME Structures
+ Inferring CME Structures from Available Solar Data
+ Coronal Mass Ejection Detection Methods
+ Using IMPACT (software) to Aid in CME Disturbance Predictions
+ Solar Cycle Dependencies
+ Solar Flares
+ Basic Nature of Flares
+ Types of Flares
+ Flare Rating Systems
+ Significance of Proton Flares
+ Ground Level Events (GLEs)
+ Fast Transit Events
+ Interpreting Magnetograms
+ Determining Magnetic Shear and Flare Susceptibility
+ Solar Flare (and Proton Flare) Prediction Techniques
+ Solar Flare Related Coronal Mass Ejection Prediction Techniques
+ Sources of Solar Flare Information
+ Solar Coronal Holes
+ Coronal Hole Basics
+ Recurrence
+ Solar Cycle Correlations
+ Associations with Near-Relativistic Electrons
+ Coronal Hole Related Disturbance Prediction Techniques
+ Filament Eruptions
+ Filaments and Prominences
+ Eruptive and Non-Eruptive Activity
+ Filament-Associated Coronal Mass Ejections
+ Filament-Related Disturbance Prediction Techniques
+ Auroral Activity
+ Basic Theory of the Northern/Southern Lights
+ Behavioral Characteristics of the Auroral Ovals
+ Sensitivity to Solar Disturbances
+ Affects on Satellite Health and Radio Communications
+ Mathematical Models of the Auroral Zones
+ Auroral Activity Prediction Techniques
+ Information Sources
+ Conditions Affecting Satellite Health
+ Atmospheric Drag
+ Surface Charging Anomalies
+ Deep Dialectric Charging Anomalies
+ Interplanetary Shocks
+ Magnetopause Crossings
+ Postulated Sun/Earth Climate Connections
+ Possible Long-Term Climatic Trends
+ Rainfall
+ Temperatures
+ Atmospheric Pressure
+ Storm Tracks
+ Ozone Correlations
+ Possible Short-Term Meteorological Trends
+ Pressure and Winds
+ Lightning
+ Storm Systems
+ Ozone Responses
+ Radio Propagation
+ Basic Theory (Non-Technical)
+ Characteristics and Components of Radio Signals
+ Understanding Plasmas
+ Importance of Electron Collisions
+ Appleton/Hartree Contributions
+ Signal Polarization and Coupling
+ Ionospheric Absorption
+ Deviative Absorption
+ Non-Deviative Absorption
+ Fading
+ Multipathing
+ Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances
+ Solar Related Disturbances
+ Structure of the Ionosphere
+ Ionospheric Layers
+ Importance of Sporadic-E
+ Effects of Spread-F
+ Solar-Cycle Dependencies
+ Models of the Ionosphere
+ Simple Mathematical Models
+ Numerical Maps
+ and MUCH MUCH more

The STD SW Course (created by Cary Oler, STD) presents you with some specific historic real-life scenarios. Using the information and techniques studied in this course, you are asked to develop your own space-weather and radio-propagation predictions. The actual real-life impacts are then studied and compared with your forecasts.

The Course presents you with several hypothetical (possible future) examples and ask you to develop your own forecasts.

(NOTE: The certificate which was originally offered, when the course was much more expensive, is no longer offered.)

Here's the order page:

#spaceweather #solarstorm #hamr #hamradio #amateurradio #emcomm #swl #swlog #radio #science #astronomy #sunspot #sunspots #solar #sun #spacewx
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Look at this huge sunspot, the largest yet of Sunspot Cycle 24!  It is about the same diameter as Jupiter!  Notice how tiny Earth is, in comparison.  

Each sunspot region gets a consecutive number assigned to it by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  This sunspot region is NOAA AR (active region) Nr. 12192 (we often drop the first digit when speaking of a sunspot, so in this case, this region was often referred to as AR 2192).  

This sunspot region increased the ionization of the ionosphere, creating excellent conditions on all of the high frequency spectrum (shortwave, or HF).  Even ten meters was alive with world-wide propagation.  And, the best news is that this provided an exciting playing field for the CQ WW SSB contest in late October, 2014.

This sunspot region has now rotated away, but may return on about 24 days.


Check out:
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