If you know a ham, all you have to do is ask her, “How is 20 metres?” to begin a discussion on sunspots, solar cycles, propagation, and maybe even global warming.
Well, right now, we have two sunspots in solar groups so most hams who are active on 20 metres will be happy.
I am. I was not on 20 metres for more than 10 minutes this morning, and my first call came in. It was from Kekaha, Kaua`
i, Hawai`i. Oh my! The next call directed to me came in from Brainard, Iowa, in the middle of the state!
Both of these calls were “easy copy” – like talking on the phone – and in the parlance of the radio amateur “59”.
Boy! Does a couple of sunspots make a difference!
From Seattle, the propagation looked like this…
14.0 MHz is that teal colour. That is the 20 metre band of Amateur Radio. You can see the Hawai`ian islands are in the 20 metre coverage, as is Iowa and most of Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana.
As a rule, Radio Amateurs LOVE sunspots of a new cycle. The downside is sunspots mean an active Sun and hotter global temperatures. The lack of sunspots to this point, has saved us from our excesses of human-derived global warming.
What this means is more hurricanes; stronger hurricanes in some instances. We are now into Greek Letters of storm (“Hurricane Delta” was the last to hit the Yucatan and Isle Mujeres).
Today, 09OCT20, I snapped these shots of the Sun to confirm the sunspots. Here is the Sun in the purple light of Ca+ ions from the Photosphere (below) where two prominent magnetic holes are apparent in the lower hemisphere.
Above, in H-α light, we can barely make out the sunspots in the upper hemisphere of the Sun.