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The SIDC now have a page to track spotless days at which may be of interest to people here.

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Read it now: the official International Shortwave Broadcast Guide with my article, "Crash Course of Shortwave Propagation and Space Weather" - This book is now on Amazon.

Here is my short link to the Amazon Kindle page:

#SpaceWX #SpaceWeather #Propagation #ionosphere #science #hamradio #hamr #ARRL

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President Obama Issues an Executive Order to Help Prepare Nation for Solar Flares

Space Weather is now the focus of a new executive order issued on 13 October 2016, as U.S. President Obama takes aim at preparing the nation’s infrastructure for “extreme space weather events.” Space weather, which covers the Sun-Earth connection and includes the conditions with which radio amateur shortwave communications occur, is a hot area of research and development, and funding. Space weather has the potential to not only affect radio communications but also to affect and disrupt health and safety across the world.

Issuing an executive order is one way to ensure funding, but it also serves as a reminder that we amateurs are positioned in several ways to participate in the national readiness in the space weather arena: firstly, we are emergency communicators, many of whom are passionate about being prepared to offer their communities with selfless radio communications service, but additionally, being well-educated on space weather science and applications of space weather and radio propagation knowledge. ( By the way, for those interested readers, I am still offering a comprehensive space weather and radio propagation course that includes material on forecasting; see )

Full story:

#spacewx #solarstorm #spaceweather #hamr #ARRL #science #Obama #PresidentObama #ExecutiveOrder #hamradio #amateurradio #emcomm #news #tech #techie #infrasctucture #NASA #USA #SWPC #SDO #SOHO #Astronomy #astrophysics #prediction #weather #Solar #Flare #flares #SolarFlares #solarstorm

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I came across an interesting article on how the University of Michigan and Rice University are working with NOAA to provide regional storm warnings.

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As cycle 24 starts to wind down, we're starting to see almost daily predictions for cycle 25 and beyond. This article from last years Nature magazine proposes a promising model composed of a pair of dynamos. After training the model on observations from cycles 21-23 onwards, the researchers extrapolated back in time and have achieved (in their words) 'spectacular' accuracy matching historical data. This is given them the confidence to extrapolate forward to cycles 25 and 26. Very interesting and readable article. (Apologies to anyone that's already picked up on this)

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Announcing 'proppy', an online HF propagation prediction tool using the ITU's ITURHFPROP application (embodying ITU-R P.533-13) to produce area and point to point predictions. Proppy is under active development and comments / suggestions are most welcome. 

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A Nuclear Fusion Light Show -- The Sun in 4k-UHD!

The Sun is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.

The sun is always changing and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on February 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 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, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material travelling up and down looping magnetic field lines.

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, Md. built, operates, and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

It is widely believed that the Sun's magnetic field is generated by electrical currents acting as a magnetic dynamo inside the Sun. These electrical currents are generated by the flow of hot, ionized gases in the Sun's convection zone.

We know a lot about the Sun's magnetic dynamo. It has a 22 year cycle. During the first half of the cycle, the Sun's magnetic north pole is in the northern hemisphere while the magnetic south pole is in the southern hemisphere. Right around the peak of the sunspot cycle (solar maximum), the magnetic poles flip or exchange places so that magnetic north is now located in the southern hemisphere. This flip occurs about every 11 years at solar maximum.

The 22 year magnetic cycle greatly influences the most prominent manifestation of the dynamo, sunspots and active regions, which migrate towards the solar equator from high latitudes over the course of the solar 11 year "sunspot cycle". Sunspots and Active Regions are manifestation of the magnetic field generated in the Sun's interior poking through the visible region of the atmosphere. Active regions are responsible for the production of intense and violent energy burst, called flares, and events where very large amounts of hot gas, trapped by the magnetic field of the active region, are released from the Sun's atmosphere and into space, called coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Watch the movie, now! Here's the link:

Credit: The SDO Team, Genna Duberstein and Scott Wiessinger, Producers

1st music:

The Big Decision by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( || Artist:


Light Awash by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: || Artist:

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