Friday, 29 January 2010

February '10

Propagation Forecast
Conditions have remained calm during January, except for a minor disturbance on 20 January caused by Sunspot 1039 which emerged on the far side of the sun on the 19th. Conditions are likely to remain calm until February 16th when a similar disturbance may affect radio propagation. Maximum A index will be 10, returning to the norm of 5 within 2 days. The Boulder K index has remained at 2 during the last 4 weeks rising by 1 point during sunspot activity. The solar Flux is now on a steady upward trend, rising to 84 by 16th February. This is a definite sign of Solar cycle 24 emerging at last. Maximum usablefrequencies during February should remain at between 6 and 7 MHz.

Solar Conditions and Global Temperatures
In This NASA article, John Hansen, director of GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) explains a link between Global temperatures and Solar activity.
“Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade , due to strong cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean 2009 saw a return to near-record global temperatures. The past year was only a fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest year on record, and tied with a cluster of other years -- 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 -- as the second warmest year since record keeping began.
A deep solar minimum has made sunspots a rarity in the last few years. Such lulls in solar activity, which can cause the total amount of energy given off by the sun to decrease by about a tenth of a percent, typically spur surface temperature to dip slightly. Overall, solar minimums and maximums are thought to produce no more than 0.1°C (0.18°F) of cooling or warming.
“In 2009, it was clear that even the deepest solar minimum in the period of satellite data hasn’t stopped global warming from continuing,” said Hansen. (From:

Geomagnetic Storm Levels
The Boulder K Index is the best indicator of solar activity.
Geomagnetic storm levels are determined by the estimated 3-hourly Planetary K-indices which are that are derived in real time from a network of western hemisphere ground-based magnetometers. Geomagnetic storm level. During 2009, the K Index has occasionally reached 5 and will probably exceed this during 2010, as we enter Solar Cycle 24.
Planetary K
Indices Geomagnetic/Storm Level
K=5 G1
K=6 G2
K=7 G3
K=8 G4
K=9 G5

Solar Flare Images
The Scientific front Line website shows video images of a Solar Flare in 2003 recorded by the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) Satellite. These are similar to the solar activity we can expect from Solar Cycle 24. ( )

Meteor Showers in 2010
Meteor showers are produced by small fragments of cosmic debris entering the earth's atmosphere at extremely high speed. Apart from being used in ham radio circles, meteor scatter communications is also used in professional and commercial radio communications applications. It provides a relatively low cost and reliable form of radio communication for medium distances provided that real time data transfer is not required. It is used for radio communications applications such as sending data from remote weather stations and for oil rigs where it provides a useful element of their data communications structure.
2010 began with the intense but brief Quadrantid maximum (January 3/4). The Lyrids past mid-April (max: April 22/23) will raise meteor rates for several nights. The Eta Aquarids (max: May 7/8) enrich late nights of May's first half, sometimes substantially. February, March, and April evenings have another notable feature. An unusual number of sporadic fireballs come in this interval, possibly one every few nights. June to mid-July has fair rates. The last half of July has rates increasing steadily as the Delta Aquarids (July 29/30) and Alpha Capricornids (July 27-28) have maxima at month's end. Even the Perseids are beginning to show a little. Overall, late July to mid-August is very rich in meteors. The Perseid maximum, just before mid-August (August 12/13), is fairly prolonged and quite rich. ( )

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