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A Moment Worth Waiting For

Dear <<First Name>>,

A long time ago I made a promise that when the Sun started showing real signs of starting Solar Cycle 25, I would finally take steps towards becoming "radio active." No, not that kind of radioactive, the kind that means I would become active on the air as an amateur radio operator. True to my word, over the past couple of weeks, I have been working with my "Elmer" to get ready. (An "Elmer" is what we call an experienced amateur radio operator, who mentors less experienced operators, like myself.)  But it isn't an easy process. First, we had to equip me with a mobile radio, then connect me to a big antenna network called the "Papa System,"  and finally prepare me to talk officially on the air with other radio operators. Believe it or not, thanks to my Elmer, Mike KN6EWM, the special moment came this past Wednesday. During a net designed specifically for "new hams," I dared to press the transmit button on my mobile, and the result was nothing short of spectacular.

As you can see from the photo above, I was quite surprised at what waited for me on the other side of the receiver.  Not only did I manage to have an intelligent conversation on the air, but I was floored by how many radio operators locally in southern California already knew me by name. The unbelievably warm welcomes I got from people like David KK6M,  Carolyn KK6LMC, and Steve KI6LOV were most unexpected. I suddenly found myself so grateful to discover this Space Weather community stretched so far and so wide. The experience left me feeling quite humbled and encouraged for the future.

As for the forecast, I am not the only one who got some major encouragement this week. Our Sun has launched several solar storms, including one yesterday that looks to be Earth-directed. (Unfortunately it launched after I had already finished my forecast so I'll likely include an informal update for my community on Patreon tomorrow.) As for the other solar storm, it launched on the Sun's farside, which might seem boring at first-- until you realize how close the storm came to hitting the Parker Solar Probe during its closest flyby of the Sun yet!  As I detail in the forecast, the solar storm launch might have missed PSP this time, but considering we are so early in both the new solar cycle and in the PSP mission, I'm sure the team is very encouraged. It's almost certain we will yet catch one of the most captivating phenomena of the Sun, closer to its birthplace than we have ever before witnessed. Now that will be a moment worth waiting for!


A Solar Storm Nearly Clips Parker Solar Probe | Solar Storm Forecast 06.12.2020

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