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A Morning With PAPA

Dear <<First Name>>,

I had something special happen and I want to share it with you. Isolation has become the new normal for many of us in this upside-down world of social distancing, so its very unexpected when a large group of people decide to gather together, even when its online. I call it "Zoom-fatigue." But every once in a while something wakes me up and lets me know we can still connect with one another, despite our isolation. Saturday morning was such a moment. 

You might remember a little more than a month ago, I wrote to you about getting on the amateur radio bands for the first time. That experience was on a system called the "PAPA Repeater Network." Well, since that time, the PAPA system gurus invited me to give a virtual talk on Zoom to their group. No problem. I figured it would be an informal gathering of 30-50 people. But as the room began to fill up, I realized I was way off the mark. Much to my delight, it turned out my "Morning with PAPA" had nearly 200 people in attendance!  (See the above snapshot I took just before my talk started.) After giving a lecture for an hour, the audience asked for an "encore" of sorts and so I lectured for another half an hour. After that, they kept me on for yet another hour answering questions! Overall it reminded me that despite this dismal time of social isolation, we can still connect in meaningful ways and brighten each others' lives, even when we feel this lock-down might go on forever.  

So as I turn to the Sun this week with a renewed hope in my heart, I find our star echoing a similar sentiment. Just when it seemed solar cycle 25 would take forever to ramp up, the largest bright region yet of this new cycle is now rotating into Earth-view. What a beautiful sight (see region 2768 below)! May this new region brighten your life as much as recent events have brightened mine, and may it serve as a reminder that for every dark night we spend, there is always a bright morning waiting to surprise us. 

A Solar Storm, A Fast Wind Chaser & NEOWISE Blows Us Away | Solar Storm Forecast 07.24.2020
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