Category Archives: Space

Moderate Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm watch for September 13. A coronal hole high-speed stream, originating from a recurrent, positive polarity coronal hole on the Sun’s surface, prompted the prediction. Minor (G1) geomagnetic storming is possible on September 14.

It’s been a turbulent time on the HF bands over the past several days. On Sunday, September 10, a strong (R3) radio blackout occurred at 1606 UTC. The source, Region 2673, has rotated just around the visible disk. Severe (G4) geomagnetic storm levels were observed at 2350 UTC on September 7, and again at 0151 UTC and 1304 UTC on September 8, due to the effects of a coronal mass ejection (CME).

Continue reading Moderate Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued

Sun Unleashes Monster Solar Flare, Strongest in a Decade

By Sarah Lewin, Space.com Associate Editor


This article was updated at 5:44 p.m. EDT to indicate that a coronal mass ejection was observed coming from the site of the solar flare.

Early this morning (Sept. 6), the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.

At 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT), an X-class solar flare — the most powerful sun-storm category — blasted from a large sunspot on the sun’s surface. That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT), by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0).

Continue reading Sun Unleashes Monster Solar Flare, Strongest in a Decade

Cosmonauts Manually Deploy Three Nanosatellites with Amateur Radio Payloads

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy manually deployed five nanosatellites during a spacewalk on August 17. Three of the satellites carry Amateur Radio payloads. Tanyusha-SWSU 1 and 2 (also known as also known as Radioskaf 6 and 7 — RS6S and RS7S) will transmit either 9.6 kB FSK or FM voice announcements on 437.050 MHz, while Tomsk-TPU-120 (RS4S) will transmit FM voice announcements on 437.025. The satellites were deployed from the Pirsairlock module of the ISS. Both have been reported active.

Continue reading Cosmonauts Manually Deploy Three Nanosatellites with Amateur Radio Payloads

ARISS SSTV (Update)

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary, the ARISS team is planning to transmit a set of 12 SSTV images that capture the accomplishments of ARISS over that time. While still to be scheduled, they anticipate the SSTV operation to occur around the weekend of July 15. This is now scheduled for Thursday, July 20 until Monday July 24 1800 UTC.
(I record the received audio and then later decode it using a program like MMSSTV)

ARISS Article
FM SSTV downlink (Worldwide) 145.800 MHz
ISS Live Tracking

SSTV received image
Previously received SSTV image



An SSTV image sent from the ISS on Sunday 7/23/2017 around 10:00 PM Pacific. This was a visible pass of the ISS so it was easily tracked with the naked eye, making it easy to aim the antenna.

ISS SSTV
SSTV capture on 7/23/2017

Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained

by Bob Yirka

WOW signal
The Wow! signal represented as “6EQUJ5”. Credit: Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the Center of Planetary Science (CPS) has finally solved the mystery of the “Wow!” signal from 1977. It was a comet, they report, one that that was unknown at the time of the signal discovery. Lead researcher Antonio Paris describes their theory and how the team proved it in a paper published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Continue reading Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained

New Satellites with Amateur Radio Payloads Launched, Monitored

The AlSat-1N and Pratham satellites, both carrying Amateur Radio payloads, have both been heard and identified following the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV-C35 mission launch on September 26. Reports are requested. Reports on AMSAT-BB indicate the Pratham CW beacon on 145.980 MHz is active.

The 3U AlSat-1N CubeSat was built in collaboration with the Algerian Space Agency, the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Surrey Space Centre (SSC) staff, and Algerian students as a technology transfer and demonstrator for Algeria.

Continue reading New Satellites with Amateur Radio Payloads Launched, Monitored

Supporting Disaster Communications from Space

FEMA.gov
by Rafael Lemaitre

Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech
Hume Center Director of Research Robert McGwier (right) and research associate Zachary Lefke are building radio antennas that will be used in the Virginia Tech Ground Station. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech

Conventional lines of communication can be impacted after a disaster. This we know. Phone lines can go down, cell service can be overrun with calls, texts, and emails and it can be difficult for survivors as well as first responders to get in touch. This isn’t a far-fetched scenario or intellectual exercise. It’s a reality we’ve seen happen over and over during disasters small and large.

Enter Amateur Radio—or what those involved in the hobby refer to as “ham radio.”

Continue reading Supporting Disaster Communications from Space

NASA Solar Flare Warning – March 8, 2012

NASA.gov
March 8, 2012

NASA Warns: Possible Infrastructure Disruptions From Solar Flare

March 6, 2012 X5.4 flare was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the 171 Angstrom wavelength.

NASA models using data from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) have now provided more information about the two CMEs associated with the two March 6 flares. The first is traveling faster than 1300 miles per second; the second more than 1100 miles per second. NASA’s models predict that the CMEs will impact both Earth and Mars, as well as pass by several NASA spacecraft – Messenger, Spitzer, and STEREO-B. The models also predict that the leading edge of the first CME will reach Earth at about 1:25 AM EST on the morning of March 8 (plus or minus 7 hours). Such a CME could result in a severe geomagnetic storm, causing aurora at low latitudes, with possible disruption to high frequency radio communication, global positioning systems (GPS), and power grids.

The sun erupted with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle on March 6, 2012 at 7PM EST. This flare was categorized as an X5.4, making it the second largest flare — after an X6.9 on August 9, 2011 — since the sun’s activity segued into a period of relatively low activity called solar minimum in early 2007. The current increase in the number of X-class flares is part of the sun’s normal 11-year solar cycle, during which activity on the sun ramps up to solar maximum, which is expected to peak in late 2013.

About an hour later, at 8:14 PM ET, March 6, the same region let loose an X1.3 class flare. An X1 is 5 times smaller than an X5 flare.

These X-class flares erupted from an active region named AR 1429 that rotated into view on March 2. Prior to this, the region had already produced numerous M-class and one X-class flare. The region continues to rotate across the front of the sun, so the March 6 flare was more Earthward facing than the previous ones. It triggered a temporary radio blackout on the sunlit side of Earth that interfered with radio navigation and short wave radio.

In association with these flares, the sun also expelled two significant coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are travelling faster than 600 miles a second and may arrive at Earth in the next few days. In the meantime, the CME associated with the X-class flare from March 4 has dumped solar particles and magnetic fields into Earth’s atmosphere and distorted Earth’s magnetic fields, causing a moderate geomagnetic storm, rated a G2 on a scale from G1 to G5. Such storms happen when the magnetic fields around Earth rapidly change strength and shape. A moderate storm usually causes aurora and may interfere with high frequency radio transmission near the poles. This storm is already dwindling, but the Earth may experience another enhancement if the most recent CMEs are directed toward and impact Earth.

Watch a Video of the Flare

In addition, last night’s flares have sent solar particles into Earth’s atmosphere, producing a moderate solar energetic particle event, also called a solar radiation storm. These particles have been detected by NASA’s SOHO and STEREO spacecraft, and NOAA’s GOES spacecraft. At the time of writing, this storm is rated an S3 on a scale that goes up to S5. Such storms can interfere with high frequency radio communication.

Besides the August 2011 X-class flare, the last time the sun sent out flares of this magnitude was in 2006. There was an X6.5 on December 6, 2006 and an X9.0 on December 5, 2006. Like the most recent events, those two flares erupted from the same region on the sun, which is a common occurrence.

 

NASA Calls for Amateurs to Listen for Satellite

NASA.gov
January 19, 2011
PRESS RELEASE: 11-009

NANOSAIL-D EJECTS: NASA SEEKS AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS’ AID TO LISTEN FOR BEACON SIGNAL

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., confirmed that the NanoSail-D nanosatellite ejected from Fast Affordable Scientific and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT. The ejection event occurred spontaneously and was identified this morning when engineers at the center analyzed onboard FASTSAT telemetry. The ejection of NanoSail-D also has been confirmed by ground-based satellite tracking assets.

Continue reading NASA Calls for Amateurs to Listen for Satellite