Archive - June 2012

Stellar Flare Blasts Exoplanet


An international team of astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond our solar system.

The scientists conclude the atmospheric variations occurred in response to a powerful eruption on the planet’s host star, an event observed by NASA’s Swift satellite. The stellar flare, which hit the planet like 3 million X-flares from our own sun, blasted material from the planet’s atmosphere at a rate of at least 1,000 tons per second.

The exoplanet HD 189733b lies so near its star that it completes an orbit every 2.2 days. In late 2011, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found that the planet’s upper atmosphere was streaming away at speeds exceeding 300,000 mph. e.

HD 189733b is a gas giant similar to Jupiter, but about 14 percent larger and more massive. The planet circles its star at a distance of only 3 million miles, or about 30 times closer than Earth’s distance from the sun, and completes an orbit every 2.2 days. Its star, named HD 189733A, is about 80 percent the size and mass of our sun.

Early opening to West

Gud conditions this morning on 20m around 0530 to 0700 local when it propagation died to West.
Logged TG9AHM (Guatemala), KV9C, W4UEF, K2NCC, XE2KJV, VK7XX, VK3FM, W1MSN, N9RH, N4AOE, AE6SHL, N6AKI (FB signal from California – image left) plus many more in Asia and EU. Modes were CW and PSK-63.
15m was also open 0530 local to EU. Sad my mate Mal (M0BZH) was at work and missed it ;-

Bet Shankhodhar confirmed

K800 IMG

Thanks to Sarla VU2SWS for the receipt of my Qsl card for the AS-175 operation. (MØOXO IOTA 529 W 460 C).

Bet Shankhodhar a.k.a Bet Dwarka Island is located at the mouth of the Gulf of Kutch and archaeological evidence suggests that it played a significant role in maritime activities in the past. The island of Bet Dwarka is situated in Okhamandal sub-division of Jamnagar district of the state of Gujarat. It is 3 kms. away from the mainland and the nearest port is Okha. It is 13 kms long (NW-SE) and 4 kms wide. The southeastern part of the island consists of high cliffs and clayey beaches, while to the northwest is a low lying area with fine sandy beaches. The vegetation includes shrubs, cactus and a few neem trees.

Thanks Sarla ..

GB6ØQE – QRV from HMS Belfast


Chris G1VDP (StrumbleHead DX Group Member) will be QRV this Saturday (30th June) as GB6ØQE (GB6Ø Queen Elizabeth) from the Radio Room aboard HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast is a museum ship, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser, permanently moored in London on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum.

Construction of Belfast, the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital city of Northern Ireland and one of ten Town-class cruisers, began in December 1936. She was launched on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 1938.
She saw a high level of service for her Country from then and in December 1943 played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings. In June 1945 Belfast was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet, arriving shortly before the end of the Second World War. Belfast saw further combat action in 1950–52 during the Korean War and underwent an extensive modernisation between 1956 and 1959. A number of further overseas commissions followed before Belfast entered reserve in 1

In 1967, efforts were initiated to avert Belfast’s expected scrapping and preserve her as a museum ship. Opened to the public in October 1971, Belfast became a branch of the Imperial War Museum in 1978. A popular tourist attraction, Belfast receives around a quarter of a million visitors per year.

Please listen for GB2RN and give Chris your support!

Nearly blank Sun :-(


The departure of active sunspot AR1504 has left the Earth-facing side of the sun quiet and nearly blank.

Only one small emerging sunspot interrupts the empty expanse photographed this morning by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

With no significant active regions facing Earth, NOAA forecasters estimate a mere 1% chance of strong M- or X-class solar flares.

Solar activity should remain low for at least the next 24 hours.

GB60HRH Qsl cards mailed


GB60HRH Qsl cards arrived from the printer at                                                    UX5UO Qsl print this morning.

All cards processed and in the mail by lunchtime!

Qsl cards via M0OXO

Euclid space telescope


The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally approved an international collaboration of about 1 x 105 scientists from research institutes across Europe, along with some Americans, to design and build the satellite Euclid. Expected to be launched later this decade, Euclid will map approximately 2 x 109 galaxies and the dark matter around them. The Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) is involved in developing one of the two instruments for the Euclid space telescope. Using a telescope with a 1.2 m aperture, the Euclid mission will map a radius of about 1 x 1010 light years from earth; this is equivalent to mapping the evolution of the Universe over about three quarters of its history. This equates to 40% of the entire sky.

The deep-field mission will cover a patch of sky equivalent to 100 times the size of the full moon, or 1.5 x 104 times the angular area covered by the Hubble Space Telescope’s “Ultra Deep Field” exposure. The combination of depth and sky coverage might allow Euclid to detect the first galaxies that formed at the beginning of the Universe.

DX Code Of Conduct – June update

DX code1

June 2012 newsletter from Randy W6SJ;


I am pleased to give you all a progress report. We should all be pleased at our efforts. ARRL made an announcement recently that the LOtW user total had reached 50,000. I think that is a fair measure of the size of the DX community and compares reasonably well with the number of unique call signs worked by the big DXpeditions.


In our case, our flag counter says we have had 53,000 unique visitors. Interestingly, our survey said that a number of people are repeat visitors. I’d like to provide unique content to keep them coming back but am running out of ideas. Thoughts are welcome. So I think that while I am not sure we have saturated the minds of every DXer, I think they all know of us and what we stand for.


It is also interesting to note that many DXpeditions are putting up our Code and/or our logo and a link to our website, many doing without it being brought to their attention. That said, there are some who are oblivious or just forgot. So we try to enlist them. I have only had one group that misunderstood our goals and responded that they “were all experienced and didn’t need any help.” BTW, that DXpedition got “poor grades” for operating skills from many who got or tried to get a QSO.


I think that I continue to be frustrated at understanding human behavior. I think I don’t know any more about that than I did 50 years ago. We really do not have a Ham Rule Book. Most sports have adopted strict rules. Consider The Rules of Golf. Every golfer knows them. All follow them in tournaments, and the great majority follows them in weekly games. Importantly, no one will place even a “friendly bet” with the guys who cheat.


Our hobby is different from golf because we don’t go out with a foursome of buddies who know what we do. It’s a solitary activity and by and large no one who knows you can hear you, whether you are operating well or acting like a jerk, which I think of as cheating. You operate according to your character and usually only you know what you will do if you get frustrated and it triggers a thoughtless act.


I think our mission now is to raise the consciousness level of every DXer so as to spread the word. We don’t want them to “know about the Code.” We want them to believe it and abide by it. The more we bore into the consciousness of every DXer, the better those pileups will be. The more that the DXpedition leaders really train their operators, the better those pileups will be managed.


We know that there will be operators who employ poor practices just as a minister looks out upon his congregation on Sunday morning and he KNOWS that a few of those smiling faces belong to people who will in the next week engage in the very sins about which he is admonishing them.


That thought inspires me to re-double our efforts. We should not forget that many of us will be “replaced” in coming years by a new generation of “old fogies.” How will they learn to operate? Will they learn and be inspired to abide by the Code? Or will they learn from the jerks?


With that thought in mind I close with this quote from Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J.


“We have to fight the dangerous streams in culture, the consumerism and narcissism and me-ism that erode the borders of our moral culture,” he said. “We can’t put shallow celebrity before core decency. We have to have a deeper faith in the human spirit. As they say, he who has the heart to help has the right to complain.”


He wasn’t talking about amateur radio operators, but he might as well have. Those who read this do believe and do have a right to complain about those jerks because we all sincerely have the heart to help and are doing so.


Finally, lean on your national society to support the Code publicly and put it at their website. For U.S. hams, I continue to be embarrassed that the ARRL is still just ignoring our existence. Take a minute to write or e-mail to your Section and Division Leaders and to management at Newington.


I thank you for your help and for your positive words of encouragement. And please forward this newletter to your pals and members of your local ARC.


Read the full DX Code Of Conduct by clicking this link ;


Chinese Space Transit

taikonauttransit strip

China’s space program took another leap forward this week when Chinese astronauts onboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft successfully docked with the Tiangong 1 space station.

Not long after the docking, which occured on Monday, June 18th, the joined spacecraft passed directly in front of the sun over Xinzhou, China, where amateur astronomer Su Shaojie recorded the split-second transit.

The newly-manned Tiangong 1 is visible in the night sky, glowing about as brightly as a 1st magnitude star. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for sighting opportunities.

CM5FZ now on LOTW !!


The LOTW account for Frank CM5FZ was finally uploaded today and 400 confirmations made immediately. Apologies for the delay in sorting this one, we were waiting for his new Radio licence being issued before we proceeded,

Paper ‘traditional’ Qsl cardS available via MØOXO OQRS