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The Sunspot Cycle Is More Intricate Than Previously Thought

The sun's pockmarked surface is always shifting. Sunspots and solar flares rise and fall every 11 years, a cycle associated with regular reversal of the star's magnetic field. Huge quantities of plasma—known as coronal mass ejections—fly into space, which can disrupt satellites and other electronic signals if they reach Earth. More solar activity during the cycle also amplifies auroras and warms Earth's temperatures slightly. Yet careful study has shown that longer periodicities exist, too. The Gleissberg cycle, first identified in 1862, strengthens and weakens the 11-year cycle over the course of a century (shown in yellow). One paper posits that the Gleissberg pattern is caused by a slow swaying of the sun's magnetic pole. The Suess-DeVries cycle (green) lasts about 200 years, whereas the Hallstatt cycle (blue) runs on the order of 2,400 years. Still, the sun can also be erratic, making it tricky for physicists to predict future sunspots, says Alexei Pevtsov, an astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colo.: “There's an element of randomness.”

Read full article Scientific American article at:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-sunspot-cycle-is-more-intricate-than-previously-thought/

 

ARISS Packet Radio System Expected to be Back Late this Year

The currently silent packet radio system on the International Space Station could be back on the air by year’s end.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hardware team members have located an original duplicate of the packet module that had been in use on the International Space Station (ISS) before failing more than a year ago after 17 years of service. With a new battery installed, the unit was tested and found to be functioning. The ARISS packet system in the space station’s Columbus module, operating on 145.825 MHz, quit last July after first experiencing some problems. All necessary paperwork has been completed to manifest the packet module on the Progress 71P spacecraft launch now set for Halloween, with docking on November 2.

See full story at:

http://www.arrl.org/news/view/ariss-packet-radio-system-expected-to-be-back-late-this-year

 

ARRL Board Adopts Volunteer Monitoring Program; Official Observer Program to be retired

The ARRL Board of Directors has adopted the recommendations of the Official Observer Program Study Committee, which would retire the Official Observer (OO) program and institute the Volunteer Monitoring (VM) program. The Board took the action at its July 20 – 21 meeting in Windsor, Connecticut, instructing that the transition “be implemented as soon as practicable.” Under the terms of the new program, current Official Observers will be invited to apply for appointment as Volunteer Monitors (VMs). The Board expressed its appreciation for the OOs and their dedicated volunteer service over the years.

See full story at:

http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-board-adopts-volunteer-monitoring-program-official-observer-program-to-be-retired

 

 

Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club Fires Up 1950s Vintage Gear for NASA on the Air Special Event

07/30/2018

W5RRR, the Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club (JSCARC), is on the air as part of the NASA on the Air (NOTA) year-long special event — one of 12 NASA ham club stations participating in the event, which celebrates significant NASA milestones as the agency observes its 60th anniversary.

See full article and information on commemorative QSL card at:

http://www.arrl.org/news/view/johnson-space-center-amateur-radio-club-fires-up-1950s-vintage-gear-for-nasa-on-the-air-special-even

 

 

Passage of the Parity Act - Options Still Open

Parity Act Options Open Despite Removal from Defense Authorization Act Conference Report

07/25/2018

ARRL Hudson Division Director and ad hoc Legislative Advocacy Committee Chair Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, says removal of Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 555) language from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report this week was unfortunate, but does not kill the initiative. The Parity Act would ask the FCC to grant radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities the right to install effective outdoor antennas. Lisenco said today that while the language was removed from the final NDAA Conference Report, other viable options remain to see the Parity Act succeed.

See full story at:

http://www.arrl.org/news/parity-act-options-open-despite-removal-from-defense-authorization-act-conference-report

 

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18 August 2018