It's very very quiet on the Sun!

 

sunLess than two weeks ago, the sun was peppered with large active regions. Now, the face of the sun is almost completely blank.

Suddenly, the sunspot number and the sun's x-ray output have dropped to their lowest levels in years. Is Solar Maximum finished? Probably not, but the ongoing quiet spell is remarkable.

Maybe you remember 2008 and 2009, years of spotlessness when the sun plunged into the deepest solar minimum in a century.

The resemblance, however, is only superficial. Deep inside the sun, the solar dynamo is still churning out knots of magnetism that should soon bob to the surface to make new sunspots. Solar Max is not finished, it’s just miniature.

 

 

IOTA issue 11 'new ones'

At the IOTA Convention, Roger Ballister announced 11 new reference numbers that would be added to the programme with immediate effect.

1) AF-118 CN Los Farallones and Jaegerschmidt, Morocco
2) NA-247 PJ7 Stiota Maarten’s Coastal Islands
3) AF-119 S7 Coetivy Island, Seychelles
4) EU-190 RI1 Viktoriya isl, Franz Josef Land
5) OC-296 Tobi and Helen, T8 Palau
6) AS-200 JA5 Shikoku Coastal Islands
7) AS-201 Sea of Marmara isl, TA Turkey
8) AS-202 A9 Hawar isl, Bahrain
9) AS-203 UA0X Sea of Okhotsk Coast Group
10) EU-191 YO Fericirii island, Romania/Ukraine
11) NA-248 VY0 Nunavut (Devon) Island

AS-201 is currently being activated by Bodo as TA0/DF8DX

 

50th Anniversary IOTA Convention

WP 20140705 005As a final end to the trip by VK8NSB to the UK (see below blog entries). Tim M0URX and I attended the 50th Anniversary of the IOTA Programme in London last weekend.

It was great weekend located in Windsor, London (directly under Heathrow T5 Departures ;-) ) IOTA 50LWe were priviliged to meet Hams from many Countries including Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA & Eugene Shelkanovtsev RZ3EC from the Russian Robinson Club, seasoned IOTA activator's Cezar-Ioan Trifu VE3LYC, Daniel Gerth DL5YWM and Bodo Fritsche DL3OCH (DF8DX). Also present were two of our JA colleagues Take Funaki JI3DST & Yoshitake Izumi JJ8DEN (KH0PR) (see photo).

You can find many photo's from the event thanks to Nigel G3TXF on this link (click here)

Thanks to all mentioned above for a very memorable weekend !

DW1OXL/7 OC-129

leoLeo DW1OXL (formerly YC9MLL) is now on Cebu Island IOTA OC-129.

Leo has a new job at this location and is expected to be on air during his posting there. He will be using the Callsign DW1OXL/7 whilst on Cebu.

The fastest way to receive any Qsl Card I manage is to request them via M0OXO OQRS

 

Ramsey Island QRV

 By Chris Colclough

photo 1The boys arrived on the island today at 12:30 (local), and set up the station. They have been enjoying pile ups all day, and have been showing the resident wardens and the other volunteers what amateur radio is all about.

Stuie (VK8NSB) did not know he was going over to the island until they arrived at the boat slipway, then the team told him what the plans were. He has been operating and as can be seen from the photo's looks to be enjoying himself.photo 2

All logs will be uploaded to LOTW when the boys get back to the mainland. And don't for get the QSL route is via Tim M0URX.

14 hours and over 1000 qso's logged 'holiday style', the next leg of the trip starts today as we move to our Clubhouse in Pembrokeshire for a few days before travelling to the IOTA conference in London at the weekend.

BUT PLEASE REMEMBER BUREAU QSL REQUESTS VIA OQRS ONLY

 

Special News - Ramsey on the Air for 24 Hours Only

by Chris G1VDP..

On Sunday morning we welcomed to the UK a friend of ours from Australia, Stuie (VK8NSB). Currently he is with Tim and Charles at Anthonys home before they head down to the farm Tuesday morning, in fact some of you may have ven worked Stuie on the air using GW/VK8NSB. I also know MC0SHL has been activated from Ants. WP 20140629 002

There is also some other news to share. On Tuesday 1st July 2014 the boys will be landing on Ramsey Island (EU-124) and staying overnight. They hope that there will be time to set up and operate from there. It will be a simple activation using a K3, KPA 500, and Carolina Windom antenna. They will also be operating from the farm from Thursday afternoon before Tim, Charles and Stuie leave to attend the IOTA convention at Windsor.

So PLEASE make sure you log the station from the correct location. We will have the logs set up for both EU-124 and from the farm but please do not be dissappointed if you have logged the wrong details!!! QSL is via Tim, M0URX, and we only accept bureau requests via his OQRS service.

 

New image of Titan

PIA17168-br500A new image from Cassini shows band around Saturn's Moon, Titan.

Only a sharp and careful eye can make out the subtle variations in Titan's clouds when viewed in visible light. However, these subtle features sometimes become more readily apparent when imaged at other wavelengths of light. This infrared image clearly reveals a band around the Titan's north pole.

This view looks toward the leading side of Titan. North on Titan is up and rotated 31 degrees to the left.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 9 miles (14 kilometers) per pixel.

 

 

MX0SSW - Filming for TX Factor

tx FACTOR CARDSI was pleased to attend Silcoates School (MX0SSW), Wakefield over the weekend where filming was taking place for the Ham Radio Programme The TX Factor.

Over two days of filming, numerous Ham radio topics that involve the School Children Operators were covered in the programme which is likely to be available in September this year. You can see the previous episodes of TX Factor by clicking this link.

Check out the QRZ.Com page for Silcoates School and if you can offer anything of use to this self-funded School Club then please contact their teacher at the School, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We hope you enjoy the production!

PY5/VK3FY

brazil-world-cupChris VK3FY is currently qrv from Brazil while he and his family visit the World Cup.

PY5/VK3FY will be active 'holiday-style' in the coming days. OQRS is now open.

The fastest way to receive any Qsl Card I manage is to request them via M0OXO OQRS

OQRS & Direct Letter Rates

Over the last few months the bank exchange rates have been dropping quite heavily against the dollar. So that we can continue to provide the very best in QSL management our charges for QSL exchange have changed very slightly. With OQRS I have changed from €2 Euro to £2 GBP and also increased very slightly the multi QSL offer for direct letter with $ to reflect the devalued dollar.

The following is a breakdown of Direct Postage Costs. Considering other QSL managers charge $2.00 per card, I believe the following is very reasonable.


 QSL Direct
      1 QSL only by post  =  US $2.00   or  Paypal GBP £2.00 by OQRS 

Multi QSL Direct 

If you need to request more QSL cards take advantage of my Multi QSL offer.
As some of you DX and QSL as a group or friends, to reduce costs this may help you.

     2 to 4 QSL's by post    =    US $3.00     or   Paypal GBP £3.00 by OQRS
   5 to 10 QSL's by post    =    US $6.00     or   Paypal GBP £5.00 by OQRS
 11 to 20 QSL's by post    =    US $9.00     or   Paypal GBP £7.00 by OQRS 

 

Why use a UK based Qsl Manager?

deltaWell the answer is simple, look at the facts.

Charles M0OXO & Tim M0URX mailed over 11,000 (eleven thousand) Qsl cards on the 2nd June this year which included VK9MT, ZD8UW, 3B9FR, XT2AW and TO4C.Yesterday (12th June) the Daily DX was reporting that these cards were already being received by Hams all over the World.

Tim and I send our Cards Direct to World bureaus as it is simply the most efficient and fastest way to get you cards to you. It also helps by not placing any burden on the RSGB Bureau.

If you wish to use our service for DXpedition, IOTA, Holiday Style operations then contact me for advice. You will find no more efficient way of getting cards to you.

If you are in any doubt as to how much mail Tim and I send, click on the image above and you will get the idea ;-)

 

Understanding NOAA Space Weather Scales

blackoutsHave you ever wondered how the NOAA Scales that predict our Solar Weather are classified?

The NOAA Space Weather Scales were introduced as a way to communicate to the general public the current and future space weather conditions and their possible effects on people and systems.

Check out the Scales that classify how Geomagnetic Storms, Solar Radiation Storms and Radio Blackouts are described. Click the image for more information.

 

Solar Mini-Max - Whats your view?

solar 1Years ago, in 2008 and 2009 an eerie quiet descended on the sun.  Sunspot counts dropped to historically-low levels and solar flares ceased altogether.  As the longest and deepest solar minimum in a century unfolded, bored solar physicists wondered when "Solar Max" would ever return.

They can stop wondering. "It's back," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center.  "Solar Max has arrived."

Pesnell is a leading member of the NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle Prediction Panel, a blue-ribbon group of solar physicists who meet from time to time to forecast future solar cycles.  It's not as easy as it sounds. Although textbooks call it the "11-year solar cycle," the actual cycle can take anywhere from 9 to 14 years to complete.  Some Solar Maxes are strong, others weak, and, sometimes, as happened for nearly 70 years in the 17th century, the solar cycle can vanish altogether.

Read more: Solar Mini-Max - Whats your view?

ZY0T (DXCC # 317) confirmed

ZY0T 001Its taken me a while but finally today I received confirmation of the 2009 qso with ZY0T, (DXCC Trinidade & Martin Vaz Islands), (IOTA SA-010) for DXCC #317 (c) & IOTA #494 (c).

I just need the paper card from FT5ZM now for all worked DXCC's confirmed on 'traditional Qsl's' ;-)

Thanks Felipe PY1NB.

 

VK9MT - The Mellish Reef Story

 

QSL-VK9MT-Single-4By Gene Spinelli K5GS:

Mellish Reef is an uninhabited coral atoll in the Coral Sea located approximately 1,150 kilometers north-northeast of Brisbane, Australia. The reef itself is approximately 10km long by 3km wide. However, the only useable land mass is “Herald’s Beacon”, a small sand cay which stands two meters above the high water line.

The surface is composed of crushed coral and pumice stone to a depth of about 12 inches (30 cm) over a coral base. The reef is home to thousands of surface nesting seabirds including boobies and petrels with an active population of hermit crabs. Surrounding the island are submerged coral heads which make navigation hazardous. The beauty of the white sand against the blue water and submerged coral is stunning. The sun reflecting off the water and coral produces some of the most beautiful colors in the spectrum. The coral heads required our boat to anchor about 500 meters offshore, we used a Zodiac to transit to and from the island, carefully navigating around the coral.

Read more: VK9MT - The Mellish Reef Story

How does the Qsl process actually work?

D7K 1996Of course I am a little biased on this subject as I am a QSL Manager for a number of Stations and therfore I am pretty passionate about the whole 'traditional' QSL Card system.

Part of the fun of amateur radio is collecting cards, called QSL cards, from other amateurs that you've msde contact with on the radio. Some people like to collect stamps form various parts of the world but hams collect QSLs. If you are also a stamp collector you will find that often a card comes from a distant country with an interesting stamp on the envelope.

Another reason for collecting QSL cards is to participate in the many certificate programs available to amateurs. Whether it's getting your DXCC, IOTA or WAS Awards, getting cards to confirm contacts with 100 or more DX countries etc, in most instances will need the cards to support your claim for the award.

Read more: How does the Qsl process actually work?

Asteroid 'will narrowly miss Earth'......

BEASTA newly discovered near-Earth asteroid "2014 HQ124" now dubbed "The Beast" will make its closest approach to the Earth on June 8, 2014. Just before 06:00 UTC "The Beast" will fly-by our planet at a close but safe distance of 0.0084 AU (3.3 LD, 1.25 million km).

2014 HQ124 is on the list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA). An asteroid is considered a PHA if its minimum orbit intersection distance with respect to Earth is less than 0.05 AU (7.5 million km, 4.6 million miles, approximately 19.5 LD) and its diameter is at least 100 to 150 meters (330 to 490 ft).

This is big enough to cause regional devastation to human settlements unprecedented in human history in the case of a land impact, or a major tsunami in the case of an ocean impact. NEOWISE data estimates that there are 4,700 ± 1,500 potentially hazardous asteroids with a diameter greater than 100 meters. Asteroids larger than 35 meters across can pose a threat to a town or city.

According to JPL, asteroid 2014 HQ124 has an estimated diameter of 320 m. It will fly-by Earth at the speed of 14.5 km/s.

Formation of a Supercell

CapturestormPictured is a time-lapse video taken last Sunday detailing the formation of one such violent supercell in eastern Wyoming, USA. Starting as part of a large and dark thunderstorm complex, the supercell comes together along with a large rotating updraft of air known as a mesocyclone.

During the middle part of the video, the kilometer-wide supercell can be seen swirling ominously with a nearly flat bottom. Toward the end of the video, another swirling supercell cloud forms but then quickly dissipates.

Click image to see the movie.

Latest Bureau Mailing...

D7K 2001QSL cards have been posted to all World Bureaus, Monday June 2nd 2014. 

 

This mailing is a joint mailing between M0OXO Charles and M0URX Tim
I would very much appreciate feedback from you when the QSL cards start arriving at World Bureaus. This Bureau mailing includes VK9MT ZD8UW & 3B9FR.

 

Total amount of QSL cards 11,146
Total Weight 37.5 kg

Total Cost £227.78

per kg £6.07
Average postage cost  2p per QSL card.

 

For a detailed breakdown click the green ''read more'' button here.

Read more: Latest Bureau Mailing...

Huge CME footage

K800 sunRare footage of an eruption of solar material surging off the sun has been captured by Nasa.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) happens when huge clouds of superheated particles are emitted from the sun's corona - the outermost and hottest layer - and can reach speeds exceeding one million miles per hour.

The CME, captured on the 9th May was the first seen by Nasa's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

To capture the phenomenon, the IRIS must be pointed at the sun a day ahead of time and involves a degree of luck, according to Nasa.

The field of view seen in the footage is about five Earth's wide and about seven and a half Earth's tall.

Click image to see movie.

TO4C & VK2/G7VJR cards mailed...

g7vjrQsl Cards for VK2/G7VJR (OC-001) and TO4C (NA-007) arrived this morning and all have been processed. Direct cards will be mailed this week and bureau cards first week in June with my next batch.

Your Qsl Cards are NOT required so please do not send them via the Bureau.

The fastest way to receive any Qsl Card I manage is to request them via M0OXO OQRS

 

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