Words like “wall-to-wall stations” and “phenomenal conditions” punctuated
post-contest reports from last weekend’s CQ World Wide DX Contest (SSB).
Participants have Ol’ Sol to thank, as sunspot numbers leaped into the vicinity
The very active solar conditions did little to help those who favor or
concentrate on the lower bands, but 10 meter operators experienced sustained
openings during the weekend, punctuated by occasional radio blackouts. And, it
appears, this period of exalted solar
activity is not yet past.
The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) reports that the sun’s
“somnolent region 1882 reawakened suddenly” October 28 at 1515 UTC with an R1
(minor) radio blackout. An Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) launched
from the Sun during the eruption was expected to generate G1 (minor) geomagnetic
storm levels on October 31, opening the possibility of Halloween auroral
Actually, a series of CMEs will sweep past Earth this week. Spaceweather.com
says the first three are expected to deliver glancing blows, “possibly having
little effect,” with a greater likelihood of a more direct hit October 31, when
the CME from Earth-facing sunspot 1882 is awaited, propelled in Earth’s
direction by an M4-class flare on October 28. “High-latitude sky watchers should
be alert for auroras on Halloween,” SpaceWeather.com says.
Noting the high number of sunspots, forecasters say three of them — including
1882 — “post a threat for strong eruptions.” NOAA forecasters estimate a 70
percent chance of M-class
flares and a 35 percent chance of X-class
flares on October 29.
The point here is, if you haven't been on HF lately, NOW is the time! Especially if you are a Tech class licensee and have access to HF equipment to get on 10 meters. If you want to work all the great DX that's happening out there, you have to sit in the chair and get on the air!
73 – Chuck Patellis W8PT
ARRL Contest Branch Manager Mike DeChristopher, N1TA, presents a brief
history, rules review, look at special awards for the 80th anniversary,
and some tips & tricks from the real pros.
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