14 May 2013

Solar flare and cycle 24

The BBC website has news of the solar flare on Monday. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22525233 .  As we are around the peak of solar cycle 24 - the jury is still out on whether or not we will have a second peak in the cycle larger than the one of Nov 2011 - such flares can be expected. They can occur at any time though. 

Of course the media, including the BBC, likes to "hype up" the dangers of extreme flares: talk of wiping out satellites and power grids etc. All these things can occur, but we have better ways of protecting from these risks and with some advanced warning the dangers of black-outs can be reduced.

In many ways, I prefer the quieter years in the sunspot cycle: working DX with QRP is more challenging on the higher HF bands and, as I mentioned a week ago, WSPR will really be useful in winkling out the openings that fleetingly may occur.

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