Category Archives: Space

The Northern Lights and other auroras are disappearing from some parts of Earth — but scientists predict a big comeback

aurora australis nasa space station ex52 june 25 2017The Aurora Australis on June 25, 2017, as seen from the International Space Station. NASA

First, the bad news for stargazers: Auroras are going dark in many parts of the world.

The number of these atmospheric light shows won’t bottom out for several years, which means locations far from Earth’s poles — such as the UK and northern continental US — may rarely if ever see the Northern Lights during that time. A study published earlier this year hints this dearth of auroras may last for decades.

But there’s plenty of good news.

Continue reading The Northern Lights and other auroras are disappearing from some parts of Earth — but scientists predict a big comeback

Voyager 1 spacecraft thrusters fired up for first time since 1980

By Alaa Elassar and Ralph Ellis, CNN

(CNN)It’s a good idea to have a backup plan, especially in interstellar space.

NASA scientists needed to reorient the 40-year-old Voyager 1 — the space agency’s farthest spacecraft — so its antenna would point toward Earth, 13 billion miles away. But the “attitude control thrusters,” the first option to make the spacecraft turn in space, have been wearing out.

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Solar minimum surprisingly constant

Solar minimum surprisingly constant
Solar microwave observation telescopes in 1957 (top left) and today (bottom left). Fluctuations observed during 60 years of solar microwave monitoring (top right) and the solar microwave spectrum at each solar minimum (bottom right). The background is full solar disk images taken by the X-ray telescope aboard the Hinode satellite. Credit: NAOJ/Nagoya University/JAXA

Using more than a half-century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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