Archive - February 2011

Good view of ‘Nanosail-D2’ last night….


Scouting the Skies last night was a real turn up for the books. It was a very clear night and a good night for Astronomers. Of course i was awaiting the International Space Station, currently with the Shuttle Discovery. Perseus and Orion were really clear when I saw for the first time ‘Nanosail-D2”.

NanoSail-D2 is a small satellite which will be used by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre and Ames Research Centre to study the deployment of a solar sail in space. It is a three-unit Cube-Sat measuring 30 by 10 by 10 centimetres (12 × 3.9 × 3.9 inches), with a mass of 4 kilograms (8.8 lb). Its solar sail has an area of 10 square metres (110 sq ft), and was deployed in around five seconds. It passed right through Orion and what a great catch, even if i did miss the ISS through the excitement hi! You too can track its progress by clicking the image above, Good Luck!

Eastern Blast from the Sun


The quiet didn’t last long!!
Earth-orbiting satellites detected an M3-class solar flare at 0735 UTC on Feb. 24th. The source was an active region located just behind the sun’s eastern limb. The eruption produced strong radio emissions, a coronal mass ejection (not Earth directed), and this spectacular picture taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

TJ9PF now Qrt…..’new World Record’ achieved….


Well the TJ9PF operation from Cameroon has now ended. This message from the team leader about their efforts;

”As the best things , the TJ9PF 2011 aventure is ending. The last 24 hours of traffic are on. After the last QSO around 1300 UTC, TJ9PF will be off. The time of the memories and the assessment will start.

The last upload of the log happened yesterday evening at 1900. The last QSO has been logged at 1200z. The first target of 80000 QSO wasn’t reached but despite all of the problems they suffered with electricity, static and propagation, they finally stopped on about 67000 QSO’s.

One of the most important things is they have once again broken the RTTY QSO’s number world record in a Dxpédition. They keep the Digital Dxpedition QSO World record with more than 17000 q’s on RTTY. They kept the previous record since they broke it for the first time in 2009 during TS7C dxpedition. Despite the working conditions, the electricity blackouts etc, the 160m band shows 1747 QSO CW and 44 QSO SSB.

Tks to all of you who are still doing all that’s possible to make TJ9PF 2011, a success.”

If statistics have any interest for you, have a look at how you and your friends did by clicking the flag. crbst_thumb_drapeau-cameroun-etoileb-10

Nice Aurora


Last night, as predicted, a gust of solar wind hit Earth’s magnetic field, sparking bright Valentine’s auroras around the Arctic Circle. Øystein Lunde Ingvaldsen sends this picture of the sweet lights over Bø in Vesterålen, Norway:

“It was a short but beautiful blast of Northern Lights,” says Ingvaldsen. “Perhaps this is a preview of things to come later this week.” Indeed, a series of CMEs en route to Earth from exploding sunspot 1158 are expected to arrive on Feb. 15th-17th, prompting bright displays at even lower latitudes …..(not this far South and with cloudy skies ;-(

Amazing Sunspot Movie


Less than a week ago, sunspot 1158 didn’t exist. Now it is wider than the planet Jupiter and unleashing the strongest solar flares since Dec. 2006.

Click on the arrow to witness the amazing 5-day development of this active region, courtesy of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

The Sun – ‘Strongest Flare in four years


The Sun has unleashed its strongest flare in four years, observers say. The eruption is a so-called X-flare, the strongest type; such flares can affect communications on Earth. Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation emanating from a sunspot.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) has issued a geomagnetic storm warning, and says observers might be able to see aurorae from the northern UK. The monster flare was recorded at 0156 GMT on 15 February and directed atthe Earth.
Preliminary data from the Stereo-B and Soho spacecraft suggest that the explosion produced a fast but not particularly bright coronal mass ejection (CME) – a burst of charged particles released into space.
The unpredictable eruptions on the Sun can interfere with modern technology on Earth, such as electrical power grids, communications systems and satellites.

On Wednesday, the BGS released a rarely seen archive of geomagnetic recordsthat provide an insight into “space weather” stretching back to the Victorian era. BGS scientists say that studies of solar storms in the past could inform the prediction of future space weather and help mitigate threats to national infrastructure. Displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) have already been seen further south than usual in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK. And further solar activity is expected over the next few days. Researchers say the Sun has been awakening after a period of several years of low activity.

New DXCC to be announced & activated…


The Intrepid-DX Group and the DX Friends have combined efforts to announce our next DXpedition, to the newly created country of Southern Sudan, to take place after July 9th 2011.

The Intrepid-DX Group is the group which brought you the 2010 YI9PSE, IRAQ DXpedition. The DX Friends have brought you the 2006 S01R DXpedition to Western Sahara, the 2008 DXpedition to Rwanda as 9X0R, the 2009 DXpedition to Western Sahara as S04R, the 2010 DXpedition to Palestine as E4X and the 2010 DXpedition to San Marino as T70A.

It is hoped that the callsign ST0DX will be issued this next week following our meeting with the Government of Southern Sudan Mission in America. The primary objective is to activate Southern Sudan with a view to giving as many DXers as possible a first contact with this new DXCC entity and, as a secondary objective, to give as many band-slots as possible.

As with previous DXpeditions, this will be a major effort, with a target of more than 150,000 QSOs.

8th Antarctic Activity Week – GBØANT Qrv…


GBØANT (Special Event Station) will be QRV from 18 – 28th February 2011 as part of the 8th Antarctic Activity Week celebrations.

The callsign will be on all HF Bands using CW, SSB and Data Modes.

QSL for the event is via MØOXO. Further information available here.

You can find a full list of participating stations here

Qsl Cards out this week……


470 Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for G4RCG.
625 Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for GBØANT.
220 Cards to the RSGB Bureau today (07th February 2011) for MØOXO.
120 Cards Direct for MW0RLJ.

T32C – Christmas Island 2011 Update…..



UK-based members of T32C have had several preparatory sessions to clean up and refurbish kit from our previous operations as well as building and testing equipment which we will be using for the first time (for example, new 4-square antennas for both 40 and 30m, and vertical arrays for the high bands, to complement our existing Yagis). Some photos of these activities appear on the website. We have also been getting to know the FT-5000 radios, of which we will have 16 with us on T32, along with Quadra linear amplifiers. Several pallets of gear are now ready to be transferred to the shipping container, which we expect to leave the UK in late February from where it will travel via Singapore to Fiji, arriving in Suva in April or early May, for onward shipping to T32.

A novel development will be the inclusion of a GPS tracker in the container so that we can follow the progress of our kit as it makes its way to the island!


Have a read of the Christmas_Island_DXpedition_Brochure_February_2011, giving much more information about the DXpedition and the island. A copy is included with this bulletin and can be downloaded from the website. While designed primarily to give potential sponsors more information about T32C, we are also mailing to existing sponsors, DX bulletins and others, as we believe it gives everyone some fascinating insights into this major project.

As always, more information will follow in due course. We thank you for your interest in T32C.

Don Field G3XTT, (              3 February 2011

(FSDXA Publicity Officer)