Georgia Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960

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Changes are coming to the sun with start of solar cycle 25

Our sun has been shining for some 4 billion years and will do so for another 4 billion years. Many of you are aware that our star, the sun, goes through a period of both 11-year and 22-year cycles. These cycles on the sun are what many of us have come to know as the sunspot cycle, with solar maximum and minimum in the mix.

During peak solar cycles we experience a large number of sunspots and related solar events like solar flares and powerful coronal mass ejections. These sunspot events and the high doses of charged particles, can wreak havoc on the upper atmosphere of the earth. During these “solar storms,” we may experience radio and cellphone interference and that is not a good thing in our modern digital age.

At present time, we are at the end of solar cycle 24. These cycles have been recorded beginning in 1755 and have been followed with great interest ever since. If you were an observer of the sun with a solar telescope, you would have noticed that there have been some 190 days of this year with no sunspots on the visible disk of the sun. That comes out to some 59 percent of the 2018.

What is going on?

The current sunspot cycle is slowly coming to a close, with a sunspot group that has appeared on the sun known as active region AR2727. The sunspot groups in this hemisphere of the sun have a magnetic polarity of plus/minus. We are now observing some tiny sunspot groups at higher latitudes, which are magnetically charged as minus/plus. This change of polarity in sunspot groups is the clue to a new solar cycle. The new sunspot is simply “magnetically reversed.”

Sunspot cycle 24 was the weakest in some 100 years, with solar only cycle 14 which peaked in 1906 being weaker.

What is the general forecast for the upcoming sunspot cycle 25?

We may be heading to a period of less intense maximums and lower number of sunspots and dangerous solar storms. This is good news, as we are so dependent on digital technology, which can suffer the most, in large scale solar storms headed towards Earth. If you want a real reminder of just how powerful these solar storms can be, look no further than the great solar flare event of September 1859. The great Carrington Event hurled a huge solar coronal mass ejection at the earth and struck a major blow to our planet’s magnetic field. If that were to occur today, we would be in some real trouble with our dependence on electronic technology. Finally, there was also a deep minimum in the solar cycle, which lasted some 70 years, known as the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715). There were few, if any, sunspots and there was a real trend of global cooling.

Just remember this … all weather....and radio driven by the sun.

-KTAR News, Glendale, Arizona



ARRL Executive Committee Updated on Regulatory, Governance Issues

The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) met on October 20 in Bloomington, Minnesota. During his opening comments, ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, who chaired the session, said his membership contacts have indicated that strong support exists for the Entry-Level License Enhancement petition to the FCC, as well as for the Volunteer Monitor Program that would supplant the current Official Observers program.

General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, told the EC that the Amateur Radio Parity Act remains alive in Congress as part of the House-passed version of the Financial Services and General Government authorization Act (FSGG). The measure is now before a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences between the versions passed by each house. Imlay indicated that administrative implementation of the bill's provisions remains on the table should the act not be included in the FSGG authorization bill.

Imlay said that ARRL is awaiting final approval from the FCC of a new Memorandum of Understanding for the Amateur Auxiliary. Discussions are under way with key players planning the rollout and implementation of the Volunteer Monitor program.

In another FCC matter, ARRL officials met with the chief and staff members of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to urge more rapid FCC resolution of a series of long-pending rulemaking proceedings now before the Bureau. Most urgent are the long-delayed "symbol rate" petition (WT Docket 16-239) and the ARRL's Entry-Level License Enhancement petition (proposed last February). The FCC has not yet put the latter petition on public notice for comment.

-ARRL Letter

(But, with the political climate in DC that doesn't show any chance for improvement over the next few years, don't look for anything constructive to come from there....-ed.)


Merry Christmas From The GSSA


Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

Look at this "history" of ham radio through the eyes of the ARRL, an interesting read!


Check into our sister net, the Georgia Traffic and Emergency Net
nightly at 7:15 PM Eastern on 3982.5 mHz

Georgia Cracker Radio Club
Meets on 3995 mornings at 7


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