High Frequency Meteor Scatter

Radio Astronomy

 AND Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/highfrequencymeteorscatterradioastronomy

High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

 2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence 

 

THIS PAGE LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2008

 


 This website is dedicated to pioneering research,

observations, discovery, communication,

and organized scientific knowledge in the new field of

High Frequency (HF) Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy 

And Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

  2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 

Please contribute your thoughts, ideas, observations, suggestions, photographs, and constructive criticism to this forum

by sending an E-mail message to:

 

Radio WA3YGQ

Bob Culbertson  wa3ygq@amsat.org

QRZ.com: http://www.qrz.com/wa3ygq

Bob Culbertson WA3YGQ

 

or to:

 

Radio KK2W

ex:  N2VPI

SJWamback@aol.com

Steve Wamback  KK2W@arrl.net

QRZ.com:  http://www.qrz.com/kk2w

Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

 

 

 

Please share your ideas, stories, and hypotheses on:

High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

And Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

WA3YGQ Bob Culbertson and I are conducting research on Meteor Scatter Propagation in the HF (High Frequency) Bands. Please share your experiences and opinions with us as we learn about and grow with this exciting new branch of both the science of Radio AND the science of Astronomy.

 

Strange occurences such as 10 Meter DX in the middle of the night or super charged signals popping in through ordinary propagation patterns, especially very loud but short duration signals, MAY be due to meteor scatter.

 

Meteor scatter from a nearly constant barrage of meteors and overlapping meteor showers may have more to do with exceptional propagation than we have thought and MAY even be the TRUTH behind the mystery of Sporadic E Propagation!

 

Please E-mail either Bob WA3YGQ or me with YOUR stories, ideas, and opinions on HF Meteor Scatter.    Thanks! Steve KK2W

 

Please Click the Links Below To Access Our Annual E-Mail Correspondence Files:

 

  2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 

CLICK TO SEE :

2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence.doc

 

(A Microsoft Word File to Read, Copy, or Download as you wish)

========================================= 

 

 

High Frequency Meteor Scatter

Radio Astronomy

AND Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

 

 

 Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

 

Radio Waves And Astronomy 

by Steve Wamback, KK2W

 

Just as Optical Astronomy uses light waves and their physical properties to study astronomical objects and phenomena, Radio Astronomy is a means of studying astronomical objects and phenomena via the use of some form of Radio Frequency (RF) Energy or by using electromagnetic waves from the RF portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.  

 

In the broadest sense, Radio Astronomy might include the passive use of radio signal receiving equipment to detect and to listen to the RF signals emitted by naturally occurring objects either in outer space or from outer space such as the rhythmic beat of pulsars in distant portions of our galaxy, the "hissing" of our Sun, or the "ping" of meteors passing through our Earth's atmosphere.  

 

A more "active" application of Radio Astronomy principles might include the directed transmission of radio signals followed by the reception of the reflected, refracted, enhanced, or attenuated signals returned from those space objects.  One such application is the use of the Moon to "bounce" radio signals back to distant portions of the Earth.

 

The Radio Frequency Portion of The Electromagnetic Spectrum

 

In the case of Meteor Scatter radio wave propagation, radio signals are reflected by the ionized trails of meteors entering our atmosphere followed by the subsequent reception of those signals at receivers at various locations on or near the earth.  In addition to studying the radio phenomena associated with meteors, 2-way communication is often possible as a direct effect of the reflection of radio waves by the ionized trails left by meteors as they enter and are consumed by our atmosphere. 

 

Like mini Ionospheres, these meteor trails can propagate radio signals between distant points on the Earth for durations of milliseconds to several minutes.  We contend herein that other sky wave and ionospheric propagation modes are enhanced during certain peak meteor events.

 

It is the contention and major hypothesis of the authors of this page that Meteor Scatter Radio Wave Propagation occurs at frequencies that are much lower than previously thought and that radio signal propagation is even MORE enhanced in the HF (High Frequency) and possibly even LOWER frequency portions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

 

This brings us momentarily back down to Earth where VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio frequencies have been used to study the Earth itself and have detected such phenomena as "whistlers" and the sounds of lightning strikes passing through large portions of the earth.   Radio Geology is properly the scientific field in which RF energy and radio waves are used to study the Earth.

 

Some of our future research will focus on meteor scatter radio wave propagation in these lower frequency (very long wavelength) portions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum and comparison to meteor scatter propagation in the higher frequency ranges.

 

UHF... VHF... HF... MF... LF... VLF ??

How LOW can we go?

 

Finally, the use of Very Large Arrays of radio telescopes, which have traditionally been used to listen to Pulsars and other natural deep space radio phenomena, may also prove useful in our ongoing attempts to determine whether any beings apart from those of us here on Earth are capable of using Radio Waves in ways that we might be able to detect here on Earth.  Even though much of it escapes us at the present time, The Truth IS Out There!

 

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

================================

 

Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

 

Amateur Meteor Radio Astronomy --

My Version

 

By Bob Culbertson, WA3YGQ 

 

SARA:  Society of Amateur Radio Astronomy 

http://radio-astronomy.org

 

            Most meteor radio astronomy books begin with the history of the active VHF radars during and following World War II.  This is not so with passive meteor radio astronomy that we use today.  This concept first occurred in 1921.  A certain Mr. Pickard (not of the Next Generation Star Trek episodes) was making directional observations at Seabrook Beach, New Hampshire, on a number of low-frequency European stations.  He was impressed by the interesting coincidence of an extraneous sound in the receiving circuit and the passage of a brilliant meteor.  On the morning of August 29, 1921, shortly after one AM; Mr. Pickard utilizing a twenty-turn coil aerial with six-stage amplification, his antenna, being highly directional, had been set for the bearing of the French station LY, at Bordeaux 74 degrees east of north.  There was little or no sound in the ear-phones at the time, except a very light crackle of static and the faint 800-cycle per second note from the Bordeaux station. 

 

            Glancing up to the eastern sky at eleven minutes past one AM, he noticed an exceptionally bright meteor, presumably from the Perseid meteor shower that exceeded in brightness the light of any fixed star.  This meteor appeared to have come from the general location of Perseus (the radiant-- for those that do not know; a central point area where all meteors seem to come from during a shower and is designated by the constellation it is seen in).  This meteor left a trail of over 30 degrees.  Coincident with the passage of the lone meteor a sharp hiss was heard in the ear-phones of a duration which coincided as nearly as could be judged in those days with the beginning and end of the meteor trail.  The sharpness with which the hiss began and ended made the association of the audible effect with the meteor that more significant.  It is not unlikely that the directional setting of Mr. Pickard's antenna was an important factor in discovering the relation.

 

            Mr. Pickard also had done a five year study of systematic night measurements of WBBM, as received in the vicinity of Boston.  Mr. Pickard made a statistical investigation of the relative intensities of the WBBM carrier wave for the period 1926-1930.  I do not totally agree with his conclusions about the data he accumulated.  However this is the beginning of passive amateur meteor radio astronomy and the concept remains to this day.  The amateur meteor radio astronomer points his/her antenna in the direction of a rather weak known signal and observes enhancement of the signal during meteor showers.  In those days the only known signals were available on low frequencies such as the broadcast band and present day amateur meteor radio astronomers look for signal enhancement on the VHF, FM and TV (till 2009) bands.  This propagation mode is called Forward Meteor Scatter.

 

            The amateur radio operator can operate (active) and listen (passive) creating contacts with distant stations and observing enhancements during meteor showers.  However the amateur radio operator is limited to power output and can not compete with nor use his station like the modern day VHF meteor radar.  In 1979 (American Radio Relay League Handbook) long before Joe Taylor's (WJST) weak signal meteor program and DSP, amateur radio operators were making distant forward meteor scatter contacts with fellow amateurs by narrow modes (SSB-voice and CW-Morse Code) on their 50 MHZ, 144 MHZ and even 432 MHZ bands.

 

            Inspired by John Fielding's (ZS5JF) book "Amateur Radio Astronomy" and the chapter on low frequency experiments depicting the world’s largest 2 MHZ 160 meter meteor radar, I decided to try meteor radio astronomy on 80 meters (3.8 MHZ).  Not unlike Mr. Pickard, in 2006 during the peak of the Geminid meteor shower I noticed at the center of a meteor trail (northwest) propagation existed to Japan.  I like to use the Geminids to explain the difference in visual and radio observation. Visually this shower shows activity from December 6 to December 19.  Photographic evidence of the Geminids occurs as early as December 4, while radar studies have shown the shower to persist from as early as November 30 until as late as December 29.   Keep this in mind because the data you will get is probably related to the visual.

 

            The International Meteor Organization's (IMO) has a calendar on their web site www.imo.net/calendar/2008.  The North American Meteor Network (NAMN), web site www.namnmeteors.org, also has a calendar and produces an e mail newsletter, NAMN Notes, and occasional meteor updates on peaks etc.  Thanks to Mark Davis of NAMN.  The IMO's calendar also contains a working list of daylight radio meteors.  This list rates radio meteor showers in terms of activity level -- high, medium and low.  The night time visual meteor activity is listed by Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR).  This is the directly overhead number of meteors observed and an indication of meteor activity.  The velocities of the meteors are also indicated (km/s).  This is very important to amateur meteor radio astronomers because:

 

Faster meteors ionize better and yield proportionately stronger signals.

 

            For the tracking of meteor radiants, the position is listed in Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec).  The Dec is given in degrees and the RA in hours and minutes. When the RA is given in degrees take the number of degrees and divide by 15 giving a decimal value in hours of RA.  Besides the RA and Dec the beginning and ending dates of meteor shower activity is listed and the peak dates.  In my last NAMN Notes I got three different peak times for the Perseids.  Also from the same NAMN Notes, meteor showers that no longer show activity and new meteor showers that have been observed are noted. Tracking and understanding meteor showers is only as precise as the quality of the data obtained.

 

             I once bought an analog card board wheel that gave the positions of the stars and constellations with regard to the month, day, and time for three bucks at Ollies (called a Planisphere in the jacket of a book titled Starwatch).  Whitney's Star Finder is in the back jacket of their book by the same title.  At Barnes and Noble I paid fifty dollars for David H. Levy's "Guide to the Stars".  This is huge and more durable.  For simple tracking of the radiant, pick out the constellation corresponding to the meteor shower.  These Starfinders also work for daylight radio observations.

 

            Jim Sky's (KH6SKY) program "Radio-Eyes" is the best to track meteor radiants.  I started out with this program by putting my location in by clicking observer.  Next I took off the screen the radio astronomy data (pulsars, radio sources, background) from 'view' at the top of the program.  Also from 'view' I checked, show the horizon, and added the constellations, the Moon, Jupiter, and the Sun for references.  I added the azimuth and elevation grids and since meteors are found at 60 to 70 degree elevation:  from beam characteristics under options I added a nice big gray circle at 60 degrees elevation.  Both visual astronomers and meteor radar astronomers verify this as the best elevation for meteors.  By placing the mouse cursor over the point where the RA and Dec join the meteor radiant, its position can be determined in azimuth and elevation from the boxes on the left hand side of the screen.

 

            The radiant position however is not where the antenna pattern should cover. At the VHF to MF frequencies maximum ionization is available at the center of the meteor trail. At UHF and above the Head effect takes over and the maximum ionization is at the head of a meteor trail.  So since we can eliminate pointing an antenna at the radiant position, we can also eliminate 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  

 

It has been my experience with tracking meteors both on 80 meters (3.8 MHZ) and 6 meters (50 MHZ) that propagation has been at right angles to the meteor radiant.  I have never seen this in print before, anywhere.  By adding plus and/or minus 90 degrees to the radiant's azimuth position from the 'Radio-Eyes' program the center of the meteor trails is located.  For the analog wheel star finders, find the radiant position by the constellation and look at right angles to this position both plus and/or minus 90 degrees.  Also from my location 41.4 degrees north latitude I found that any meteor radiant with a 50 degree declination or higher is available 24 hours a day.

 

            The first meteor ping I ever heard was on 6 meters (50 MHZ) using an old World Radio Laboratories Amplitude Modulated amateur radio.  It had no S-meter (signal strength meter).  By counting the pings, meteor activity could be determined.  Any modern amateur radio equipment will have an S- meter and enhanced propagation from meteors can be determined by reading the S-meter differences and logging the old fashioned way by writing in notebooks or by entering data into the computer via spreadsheets.  Data can also be entered into the computer directly from the radio by various means (see SARA Journal June/July).  The entire meteor radio telescope can be automated by computer.  I prefer to keep things simple using S-meters.

 

            My antenna for 80 meters is a low dipole 12 feet off the ground.  The formula for a half wave dipole is 468 divided by the frequency in MHZ.  By keeping the height less than 1/4 wavelength (EZNEC antenna modeling program), the maximum radiation pattern is straight up at a 90 degree angle and is omnidirectional.  According to Near Vertical Incidence Skywave theory, a signal sent straight up comes straight back down at 80 meters. An acute angle (less than 90 degrees) is needed for propagation to work.  At the appropriate meteor elevation angle of 60 degrees, the low dipole gain is down only one DB from vertical and is still omnidirectional.  At a 45 degree angle, the pattern becomes bi-directional and gain is down 10 DB from vertical.  At the horizon, zero degrees elevation the gain is down 20 DB from vertical (EZNEC).  More gain can be had by adding a 5% longer wire directly under the dipole as a reflector.  For transmitting purposes the SWR will be unacceptable if the height of this reflector is not properly selected and proper values can be determined by EZNEC modeling.  This reflector will add over one DB gain depending on ground conductivity.

 

            For my 20 meter and 15 meter low dipole driven 2 element beams, the dipole at 2/10 of a wavelength in height, the proper spacing for the reflector is one foot off the ground.  For safety purposes at my parents home, I made a quad loop (formula 1045 divided by the frequency in MHZ) by planting 4 PVC pipes in the ground and mounting the quad loop 1/10 of a wavelength off ground centered under the dipole (2/10 wavelength height) for 15 meters.  Since my Amateur Radio callsign is WA3YGQ, I named this particular antenna system the YGQ antenna for (Y) Yagi dipole driven element two tenths of a wavelength above (G) Ground and a (Q) Quad reflector one tenth of a wavelength above ground.  A dipole over average ground will have a 5.6 DBI gain at two tenths of a wavelength in height.  This is the equivalent of my old TH2MK3, a 2 element yagi and nowhere near the cost.  I use #12 insulated wire and it will handle a 1000 watts.  I also use a current balun for the center insulator.  The low dipole is the widest beamwidth antenna available and this wide beamwidth is needed for low band meteor work.

 

            For 6 meters (50 MHZ) a yagi beam of four to six elements gives good beamwidth.  No moon bounce high gain narrow bandwidth antennas are desired.  ZS5JF says that all small beam antennas have a pronounced vertical lobe which sends signals skywards, either due to direct radiation or due to reflections from the ground being so close.  So for meteor work on 6 meters, I mounted my four element yagi at less than 20 feet.  The IMO in their 2008 meteor calendar under the working list of daytime radio meteor streams mentions that a four element antenna at an elevation of 45 degrees using a 30 KW transmitter and 1000 KM away should record 85% of the radio-reflecting meteor trails on their list at the appropriate latitudes of the observer.  The IMO here is relating to the equipment at a professional meteor radar installation.  The professionals use no more of an antenna than I do, however their 30 KW would probably split open my coax line long before it melted my beam.

 

            Before I discuss my observations on 80 meters, I would like to mention a few of the observations reported from Buckland Park Australia's 2 MHZ 160 meter meteor radar.  This radar has detected meteor ablation (point where the meteor breaks up causing ionization) up to 140 KM.  This range is greater than the present day 50 MHZ meteor radars.  Dr. Elford, now retired from the site, claims to have discovered a tarry-type of meteor, which ablates at these greater heights.  For every doubling down in frequency, a meteor reflection is around 9 DB stronger.

 

            So going from 50 MHZ to 3 MHZ (my 80 meter observation frequency), a 36 DB increase in signal strength is observed.  From the MF (2 MHZ) radar site, ionized clouds have been found at 25-50 KM lengths, bigger clouds than found at 50 MHZ radar sites.  Most profound of all their observations was that the MF 2 MHZ radar echo durations lasted 600 times longer than the VHF 50 MHZ radar echoes.  This means that a one second meteor burst on 50 MHZ is no longer a burst at 2 MHZ and would last 600 seconds or 10 minutes.  That’s a 10 minute time on one meteor trail for pure forward meteor scatter on 160 meters.  At 80 meters my observation frequency, even half that time 5 minutes per meteor trail would be profound knowledge and utility to the radio amateur.

 

            After observing propagation to Japan in 2006, I started seriously observing 80 meters with the goal of contacting as many different countries as I could while observing meteor radiants.  The only time I could reach Japan with my low dipole antenna was during the Geminids, where the meteor radiant was so positioned to present the meteor trails to my north west (a two year observation).  The NAMN told me that they can visually observe meteor trails below the visual horizon.  Radio waves travel over the horizon.  So I can see radio-wise farther to begin with than a visual astronomer.  I will still track meteor radiants that appear 10 degrees below my horizon, as determined by the 'Radio-Eyes' program, but not much lower than that.

 

            For 80 meters I can look at the sky and find what the meteor radiant's position is any other country.  I can also go back in time and find what the radiants position looked like then.  I have not tried putting the future in yet.  From the IMO's predicted peak of the Quadrantids this January 4th, I observed that an amateur radio operator from W7 (out west) was giving a GI0 station (Northern Ireland) echoes -- A pure sign of multi-path propagation.  A K4 station (south -- probably Florida) was using a 4 Square vertical and the received signal strength from the GI0 was 30 over 9 on his S- meter. When he switched individually to all 4 vertical elements the GI0 was 30 over 9 on ALL FOUR ELEMENTS.

 

            I have a very stingy S- meter on my old Kenwood TS-520 and before the Quad peak the GI0 was giving me normal signal strengths from Europe a 6 to 7 on my S- meter with my low dipole, at exactly the time of the Quad peak he was 20 over 9 on my S- meter and the strongest signals I have ever heard from Europe.  It was awesome watching that S- meter climb as the Quads were approaching.  Some Southern hemisphere meteor showers are available to the amateur in the northern hemisphere.  I talked to several stations in South Africa using southern hemisphere meteor showers and several of these stations were using low dipoles.  Australia and New Zealand can be included for southern hemisphere meteor shower contacts.  During the CQ magazine's October DX 2007 contest, the Orionids and Southern Taurids were active and amateur radio signals seemed to come from everywhere on all MF and HF frequencies.  Sunspot and solar activity were at an all time low.

 

            Some still insist that solar ultraviolet radiation and X-rays had to be the cause of propagation.  Meteor ionization has been determined to be stronger than solar ionization.  A country has to be in darkness or near-dark in order to sustain communications on 80 meters. Every night during the winter a United States dusk and European dawn propagation pattern exists.  A student of meteors is often told that as the earth turns, at dawn the most meteors are observed and least at dusk.  Like driving a car through a snow storm, most hits the front windshield and the least on the back.  The drawback of my observations was that this may not have been forward meteor scatter but a propagation mode called Sporadic E.   One benefit from all my radio observations is that I have an  80 meter WAC (Worked All Continents) Award and of the 79 countries I have talked to, 76 have been confirmed by QSL cards.

 

            The results of a five year study of Sporadic E ending 2005 and published in 2007 can be found at www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007JA012322.shtml .  The abstract is free and connects meteor deposition (metal ions) with vertical wind shear.  The marriage between Sporadic E and meteors is profound.  The paper costs $9.00 and can be obtained on line by credit card and you then have 24 hours to download the file.  This paper shows a relationship between VHF meteor radar counts and digisonde critical frequencies in the range of 2 to 7 MHZ over the seasonal activities during the five year study period.  Since the frequencies observed included the 80 Meter band, this paper was of great value to me in my experiments.  Was it Sporadic E or pure forward meteor scatter on 80 meters?  Meteor induced Sporadic E was designated Em in 1976.

 

            This summer I looked for pure forward meteor scatter and Em on 6 meters, the more traditional band for meteor work.  My idea was to compare them and try to find a way to divorce the two.  Pure forward meteor scatter on this frequency does not last long.  Short words like "Copy" came through and pieces of calls like "K5".  Em on the other hand lasts longer, much longer, and long enough to make plenty of contacts.  Grid numbers are collected on this band and I had 71 confirmed before I started in May.  I have now talked to amateurs in 109 grids, 91 confirmed and this summer my first European in Portugal and the Madera Island off the coast of Africa, New Brunswick, Newfoundland , Labrador, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Montana, California -- you get the idea.

 

            In all instances while tracking meteor showers this summer, I found that propagation was at right angles to the meteor shower radiant.  Be aware that when multiple showers exist, to get the appropriate shower to get the right direction for propagation.  This summer when several showers were active at the same time, I found propagation in different directions corresponding to the different radiant positions of the showers.  Once again I added plus and/or minus 90 degrees to the radiant positions, pointed the beam in that direction and propagation was there.  Propagation changed as the radiant's position changed though subtle at times near the horizon.  Much like tracking amateur satellites, overhead passes were more abrupt.  Theory of Meteor Reflections:  www.imo.net/radio/reflection gives a detailed description of underdense meteor trails, overdense meteor trails, and the problems associated with amateur meteor radio astronomy

 

            Is Em on 6 meters really an overdense meteor shower giving forward meteor scatter?   On 80 meters is an overdense meteor shower (forward meteor scatter) giving propagation or is Em?   Remember the 2 MHZ radar meteor echo duration lasts 600 times longer than 50 MHZ meteor echo.  The radio amateur could care less.   However, the amateur meteor radio astronomer may well want to know.  Dave Heiserman wrote the first book on amateur radio astronomy that I was aware of in 1975.  In the last paragraph under observations of meteors he mentions that meteors have produced weird whistling sounds in amateur radio equipment.  This takes us full circle back to Mr. Pickard and the Hiss in his radio.  He also states that radar studies of meteors have proven to be quite fruitful; however passive radio studies are much less reliable.

 

            ZS5JF informed me by e-mail that Sir Bernard Lovell (the great author of many radio astronomy books including 'Meteor Astronomy') once thought he was tracking a meteor that decades later was found to be Sporadic E  (Em) because of Doppler shift or lack thereof.  The purist may want to look into separation by Doppler (see June/July SARA Journal).   If Lovell made such a blunder where does that leave my observations?  I know very well that a few will think my observations absurd and in conflict with what they have been taught or assumed.   I can be reached for my information sources or further discussion at wa3ygq@amsat.org or call after 9:10 PM EST 814-657-3391, just NO Negative Waves please.   Let us further explore these fascinating phenomena together with open minds.

 

=====================

Bob Culbertson, WA3YGQ

Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator

Life member # 1320 of AMSAT Amateur Satellite Corporation -- I like to track things.

Past SARA member #71 -- I joined again at the beginning of the year, but I need to renew

General Radio Telephone License with Radar endorsement

Second class Radiotelegraph Operators Certificate

Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Operator/Maintainer License

US Merchant Mariners Document

SARA:  Society of Amateur Radio Astronomy 

http://radio-astronomy.org

=====================================================

 

Press Release: 
(NO Copyright;  Please Copy and Distribute Freely.  KK2W@arrl.net)
 
Sporadic E Radio Waves Explained by Meteors
 
Cranberry, PA. November 13, 2008. -- Amateur Radio Astronomer and Radio
Station operator Robert Culbertson, WA3YGQ  has been conducting
research in the skies, on the air, and in the scientific literature in support
of his proposed theories regarding the propagation of radio waves at
low medium and high radio frequencies by the ionized trails of meteors 
from space passing through and burning up in our atmosphere.
 
For more than 20 years, Culbertson has investigated Meteor
Scatter propagation on the air through his use of very low radio
antennas with high angles of radiation.   According to Culbertson,
an antenna radiating "Straight Up" is what we need to study meteors. 
He says that the Sun Spot Low is the best time to study meteor
scatter because sun-induced propagation modes are less influential
on over all radio wave propagation during those times.
 
Culbertson uses maps of the ionosphere called ionograms,  meteor
shower data, asteroid and space vehicle re-entry data, radio contact
logbooks, contest data, volunteer reports, and nightly on-the-air
experiments to test his theories and to predict propagation and signal
fading patterns as they may be influenced by meteor ionization. 
 
With the help of other researchers who gather ionospheric, meteor, and
radio data Culbertson proposes that at least one major type, or perhaps 
even ALL types, of Sporadic E radio wave propagation may very well
be Meteor Scatter Propagation.   
 
Culbertson points out further that all of this research this is taking place
at Medium (MF) & High (HF) frequencies and that Meteor Scatter
communication is probable even in the Low Frequency (LF) and
Very Low Frequency (VLF) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
 
Other forms of propagation are most likely enhanced by the presence of
ionized meteor trails.  Meteor influence in the ionosphere and
atmosphere are probably responsible for a larger portion of all radio
signal propagation than we have believed before now.  Culbertson says
that any and all reports from other radio operators or astronomers on meteors
or unusual propagation are most helpful and welcome. 
 
 [You can write to Robert Culbertson at wa3ygq@amsat.org with your questions,
comments, and observations on Radioastronomy, Meteors, High Frequency
Meteor Scatter Propagation, and  Meteor Scatter Radio Communications.]
 
(NO Copyright;  Please Copy and Distribute Freely.  KK2W@arrl.net)
 

 

The Leonids Meteor Shower in 1833 over Niagara Falls 

 

 

Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

Bob Culbertson's Major Meteor Hypotheses Are Highly Probable.

 

Thank you for that  JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH paper.   By reading that article and a few other related papers I have become quite convinced that several of WA3YGQ Bob Culbertson's major Meteor Hypotheses are Highly Probable even if not quite proven yet!   All that needs to be done now is some good data collection and statistical analyses  correlating some of the work that has already been done on daily and annual meteor fluctuations (as well as metallic meteor fragments and metal ions in the atmosphere) with the occurrence of the meteor showers themselves and the intensified or even total HF radio wave propagation associated with those events and the overall daily/annual meteor FLUX. 

 

The amazing and growing database that Amateur Radio Operators affectionately know as "THE LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD"  should serve as a very useful source of data for these studies.   The bigger that LOTW gets... the bigger our random log data database will be and so much the better!  I believe that we will soon find a way (either by radio or by statistics) to separate Normal" propagation from Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Wave Propagation.  

 

I see a major review article with some fascinating new observations and correlations with and between existing data coming to a scientific journal near you soon!   A few interesting meteor paper abstracts follow.  Thank you again.    Steve W.  KK2W

 

 

=====================================================

 High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

 

Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

 

Radio Contacts As Scientific Data

by Steve Wamback, KK2W

 

 To the uninformed observer, radio communications contacts between distant stations may appear to be nothing more than phone calls... Party-A communicating with Party-B via electronic equipment, waves, wires, and sattelites.  But when one begins to understand and appreciate the diverse nature of radio wave propagation through the Earth and through Space, it becomes apparent that a radio contact is much more than just a mere product of human technology. 

 

Radio is a harnessing of NATURAL phenomena by a human-made TOOL, much the same way that a microscope or a telescope harnesses light energy to make observations about the natural world such as an array of living organisms thriving in a drop of pond water or stars twinkling in some distant galaxy.

 

Because radios operate at variable, but measurable and controllable, frequencies and wavelength bands, they are ideal tools for observing and measuring the ways that their output signals are propagated through space; and they can tell us new things about that space and the objects that occur in it.  Hence, Radio becomes not only a mere means of two-way communication; but Radio also becomes a useful and practical tool for observing and measuring our Universe.

 

Thus, a well-kept Radio Station Logbook becomes much more than just a list of transmissions and contacts satisfying some legal documentation requirement.  The Radio Log becomes one of the most intrinsically valuable and economically expensive resources in all of Science... DATA. 

 

It is the analysis and comparison of these collected and recorded data that lead us to new discoveries, new questions, new answers, and new technologies.  Good reliable data are the "meat and potatoes" of Science which feed it, nourish it, and keep it alive for the next generation to pursue.

 

 

 =================================================== 

  Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

  High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence 

 

=======================================================

 

Backyard Meteors ?

Bob WA3YGQ & Steve KK2W

 

In a message dated 10/3/2008 11:00:54 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, wa3ygq_1@juno.com writes:

 

Steve:  Have you ever heard of placing a pan of water outside and a couple days later, micro-meteoroids will have accumulated in the pan , enough to be pulled out by a magnet?  I thought of doing this with an pan of water instead put inside and see if any metal is dissipated [accumulated or precipitated]  just by sitting.  Combining both experiments may yield something.   Or do you feel its not micro-meteors after all?  

 

That came from K3MIY, he also told me on the local repeater that in time of nuclear war the ionosphere would return to normal after 24 to 48 hours so for ARES and RACES if they didn't know that MF and HF meteor propagation would still exist with no ionosphere, all they need to do is wait.  Bob WA3YGQ

  

 

===============================================

 

 

Dear Bob, I have always dreamed of taking magnets to beaches all over the world to collect from the beach sand the tiny metal filings sized black particles  which adhere so beautifully to the magnetic flux lines of my magnet.  Black Shiny Magic Dust!  I have a whole jar of this stuff from the beach here on Lake Erie.  

 

I always figured it was from the steel plants or from ore boats or  from Iron deposits up north in Canada and from up stream in the Great Lakes.  

 

Panning action by the waves causes these black sands to sometimes form black lines and even stripes along the shore.   I always felt like a little kid just playing in the sand!   Could some percentage of my "black magic sand" be of direct meteor influx? 

 

Tomorrow I will take a magnet to the "sand" in the bottom of my rain gutters.  I see how setting out a pan is an experimental control which assures either atmospheric origin or pass-thru and a "clean catch".   The bigger the pan the better of course.  Your idea of an indoor pan is another level of experimental control.  Fascinating!  Thanks Bob.    I will keep you posted !   Steve W.  KK2W

 

P.S.    This just in... Scientific Discovery:  A lot of magnetic materials accumulate in my grain gutters!  BUT... It looks EXACTLY like my roofing shingles.  So now I know how they get roofing shingles red and brown... iron oxides.  BUT Some fraction of the finer black shiny metallic material in my rain gutters must be meteoric in origin... right? 

 

As I recall from Sedimentology (which is the branch of Geology we are talking about), a bimodal distribution of grain sizes often indicates separate sources or diagenetic influences. 

 

So the large coarse red and brown particles in my rain gutters are likely derived from the roofing shingles and the fine black shiny particles are more likely to have been derived from meteors.  I will try the pan method next.

 

P.S.S.   When it comes right down to it,  WE are all just "Stardust" blowing in the wind anyway Bob!

========================================

 

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=average+daily+mass+of+meteors+striking+earth&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

 

RE: Daily Influx of Meteors:

 Dear Bob,
  
I just did a Google search to quickly grab a number for:
 
"average daily mass of meteors striking earth"
 
This article on "Accretion of Mass" turned up first on Google.
This web site and these articles explain a lot of our theories...
Including our very basic tenet that:
 
Radio communication is more affected
by meteor influx and ionization
than previously recognized.
 
I just keep reading and re-reading to see how much sinks in. 
This article also shows where the North pole came from!
(It also explains SOME of the magnetic
metal "pannings" in my rain gutters.)
 
These ideas really answer your geology question too...
An aspect of Sedimentary Geology I had not considered before.
But your brain works way better than mine, Bob. 
Hope you enjoy these links.  Looking forward to
hearing & posting all of your comments.
This is cool!         Steve KK2W
 
PS: RE: Average Daily Influx of Meteors:
             Estimates range from 200 tons to 1000 tons or more each day
             but hey have no real good number for this yet.
             Please forward this to others who might be interested. Thanks!
 
 
I am going to join  www.expanding-earth.org 
and subscribe to their newsletters.
 

=================================================== 

 

  Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

  High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

Meteor-Enhanced HF Radio Propagation

2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence 

 

=======================================================

 

 

 

================================================================

 Recommended Organizations:          

 

SARA:  Society of Amateur Radio Astronomy 

http://radio-astronomy.org

 The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) is an international society of dedicated enthusiasts who teach, learn, trade technical information, and do their own observations of the radio sky. This organization is a scientific, non-profit group founded for the sole purpose of supporting amateur radio astronomy. SARA was organized in 1981, and today has hundreds of members worldwide. The group consists of optical astronomers, ham radio operators, engineers, teachers and non-technical persons. Many of our members are new to the field, and membership is extended to all who have an interest in radio astronomy.

 

ARRL:  American Radio Relay League 

http://www.arrl.org

 ARRL is the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators.  The seed for Amateur Radio was planted in the 1890s, when Guglielmo Marconi began his experiments in wireless telegraphy. Soon he was joined by dozens, then hundreds, of others who were enthusiastic about sending and receiving messages through the air--some with a commercial interest, but others solely out of a love for this new communications medium. The United States government began licensing Amateur Radio operators in 1912.   By 1914, there were thousands of Amateur Radio operators--hams--in the United States. Hiram Percy Maxim, a leading Hartford, Connecticut, inventor and industrialist saw the need for an organization to band together this fledgling group of radio experimenters. In May 1914 he founded the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to meet that need.  Today ARRL, with approximately 154,000 members, is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the United States. The ARRL is a not-for-profit organization that:  promotes interest in Amateur Radio communications and experimentation    represents US radio amateurs in legislative matters, and   maintains fraternalism and a high standard of conduct among Amateur Radio operators.  At ARRL headquarters in the Hartford suburb of Newington, a staff of 120 helps serve the needs of members. ARRL is also International Secretariat for the International Amateur Radio Union, which is made up of similar societies in 150 countries around the world.

  

AMSAT:  Amateur Radio Satelite Corporation

http://www.amsat.org

 The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (as AMSAT is officially known) was first formed in the District of Columbia in 1969 as an educational organization.  Its goal was to foster Amateur Radio's participation in space research and communication. AMSAT was founded to continue the efforts, begun in 1961, by Project OSCAR, a west coast USA-based group which built and launched the very first Amateur Radio satellite, OSCAR, on December 12, 1961, barely four years after the launch of Russia's first Sputnik.   Today, the "home-brew" flavor of these early Amateur Radio satellites lives on, as most of the hardware and software now flying on even the most advanced AMSAT satellites is still largely the product of volunteer effort and donated resources. Though we are fond of traditions our designs and technology continue to push the outside of the envelope.   For over 39 years AMSAT groups in North America and elsewhere have played a key role in significantly advancing the state of the art in space science, space education, and space technology. Undoubtedly, the work now being done by AMSAT volunteers throughout the world will continue to have far-reaching, positive effects on the very future of both Amateur Radio, as well as other governmental, scientific and commercial activities in the final frontier. Rarely have a group of "amateur" volunteers managed to do so much...for so many...with so little.

 

 NAMN:  North American Meteor Network 

www.namnmeteors.org  E-mail newsletter, NAMN Notes

 If you have an interest in fireballs, meteors or meteor observing, we invite you to join the North American Meteor Network (NAMN).  NAMN is an informal group of over 500 individuals from across the world. There are no membership fees or dues required. Our primary work is devoted to education and outreach programs, but the Network also collects a large number of meteor and fireball observations. Members are kept up to date through the monthly electronic newsletter NAMN Notes. Meteor watch notices, alerts and other related information is sent out as needed. NAMN also sponsors a very popular mailing list devoted to all topics related to meteors.  More information can be obtained by contacting the Coordinator, Mark Davis.

 

IMO: International Meteor Organization

www.imo.net

http://www.serve.com/wh6ef/imo-mirror/links.html

http://www.serve.com/wh6ef/imo-mirror/index.html

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) was founded in 1988 and has more than 250 members now. IMO was created in response to an ever growing need for international cooperation of meteor amateur work. The collection of meteor observations by several methods from all around the world ensures the comprehensive study of meteor showers and their relation to comets and interplanetary dust.  You can read about the history, current aims and commissions of IMO. An additional page informs you about how to join the International Meteor Organization. Membership includes a subscription to WGN, the journal of the IMO.

 

SETI: Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence

http://www.seti.org

 The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.  We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars.  The SETI  Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.  The Institute comprises 3 centers, the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach.  Founded in 1984, the Institute today employs over 150 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by two centers. Dr. Jill Tarter leads the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI.  Dr. Frank Drake is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe.    

 

 Expanding-Earth.Org: 
 

 

 

 ==============================================

 

 Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

 

 Correspondence :

CLICK:

2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence 

  ===================================================

 

Meteor Showers:

Name  

Dates  

Peak dates  

  

  

  

ZHR  

Rating  

Quadrantids

Jan 1-Jan 5

Jan 3

15:20

+49

41

120

Strong

Gamma Velids

Jan 1-Jan 15

Jan 5

08:20

-47

35

2

Weak

Alpha Crucids

Jan 6-Jan 28

Jan 15

12:48

-63

50

3

Weak

Delta Cancrids

Jan 1-Jan 31

Jan 17

08:40

+20

28

4

Medium

Alpha Hydrids

Jan 5-Feb 14

Jan 19

08:52

-11

44

2

Weak

Eta Carinids

Jan 14-Jan 27

Jan 21

10:40

-59

 

2

Weak

Alpha Carinids

Jan 24-Feb 9

Jan 30

06:20

-54

25

2

Weak

Delta Velids

Jan 22-Feb 21

Feb 5

08:44

-52

35

1

Weak

Alpha Centaurids

Jan 28-Feb 21

Feb 7

14:00

-59

56

6

Medium

Omicron Centaurids

Jan 31-Feb 19

Feb 11

11:48

-56

51

2

Weak

Theta Centaurids

Jan 23-Mar 12

Feb 21

14:00

-41

60

4

Weak

February Leonids

Feb 1-Feb 28

several

11:00

+06

30

5

Medium

Delta Leonids

Feb 15-Mar 10

Feb 24

11:12

+16

23

2

Medium

Gamma Normids

Feb 25-Mar 22

Mar 13

16:36

-51

56

8

Medium

Virginids

Mar 1-Apr 15

several

13:00

-04

30

5

Medium

Delta Pavonids

Mar 11-Apr 16

Mar 30

13:00

-65

31

5

Weak

Librids

Apr 15-Apr 30

several

15:12

-18

30

5

Medium

Lyrids

Apr 15-Apr 28

Apr 22

18:04

+34

49

15

Strong

Pi Puppids

Apr 15-Apr 28

Apr 23

07:20

-45

18

variable

Irregular

Alpha Bootids

Apr 14-May 12

Apr 28

14:32

+19

20

2

Weak

Mu Virginids

Apr 1-May 12

Apr 29

15:08

-07

30

2

Weak

Omega Capricornids

Apr 19-May 15

May 2

21:00

-22

50

2

Weak

Eta Aquarids

Apr 19-May 28

May 6

22:32

-01

66

60

Strong

Alpha Scorpiids

May 1-May 31

May 16

16:12

-21

35

5

Medium

Beta Corona Austrinids

Apr 23-May 30

May 16

18:56

-40

45

3

Weak

Omega Scorpiids

May 23-Jun 15

Jun 2

15:56

-20

21

5

Weak

Arietids

May 22-Jul 2

Jun 7

02:56

+24

38

54

Strong

Sagittarids

Jun 1-Jul 15

Jun 19

18:16

-23

30

5

Medium

Tau Cetids

Jun 18-Jul 4

Jun 27

01:36

-12

66

4

Weak

June Bootids

Jun 28-Jun 28

Jun 28

14:36

+49

14

variable

Irregular

Tau Aquarids

Jun 19-Jul 5

Jun 28

22:48

-12

63

7

Weak

Theta Ophiuchids

Jun 4-Jul 15

Jun 29

16:36

-15

29

2

Weak

July Pegasids

Jul 7-Jul 13

Jul 10

22:40

+15

70

3

Medium

July Phoenicids

Jul 10-Jul 16

Jul 13

02:08

-48

47

variable

Irregular

Alpha Cygnids

Jul 11-Jul 30

Jul 18

20:20

+47

37

2

Weak

Sigma Capricornids

Jul 15-Aug 11

Jul 20

20:28

-15

30

5

Weak

Piscis Austrinids

Jul 15-Aug 10

Jul 28

22:44

-30

35

5

Medium

South Delta Aquarids

Jul 12-Aug 19

Jul 28

22:36

-16

41

20

Strong

Alpha Capricornids

Jul 3-Aug 15

Jul 30

20:28

-10

23

4

Medium

South Iota Aquarids

Jul 25-Aug 15

Aug 4

22:16

-15

34

2

Medium

North Delta Aquarids

Jul 15-Aug 25

Aug 8

22:20

-05

42

4

Medium

Perseids

Jul 17-Aug 24

Aug 12

03:04

+58

59

90

Strong

Kappa Cygnids

Aug 3-Aug 25

Aug 17

19:04

+59

25

3

Medium

North Iota Aquarids

Aug 11-Aug 31

Aug 20

21:48

-06

31

3

Medium

Pi Eridanids

Aug 20-Sep 5

Aug 25

03:28

-15

59

4

Weak

Gamma Doradids

Aug 19-Sep 6

Aug 28

04:36

-50

41

5

Weak

Alpha Aurigids

Aug 25-Sep 8

Sep 1

05:36

+42

66

7

Medium

September Perseids

Sep 5-Oct 10

Sep 8

04:00

+47

64

6

Medium

Aries-triangulids

Sep 9-Sep 16

Sep 12

02:00

+29

35

3

Weak

Piscids

Sep 1-Sep 30

Sep 20

00:32

00

26

3

Medium

Kappa Aquarids

Sep 8-Sep 30

Sep 20

22:36

-02

16

3

Weak

October Arietids

Oct 1-Oct 31

Oct 8

02:08

+08

28

5

Medium

Giacobinids

Oct 6-Oct 10

Oct 8

17:28

+54

20

variable

Irregular

Delta Aurigids

Sep 22-Oct 23

Oct 10

05:40

+52

64

6

Medium

Epsilon Geminids

Oct 14-Oct 27

Oct 18

06:56

+27

71

2

Medium

Orionids

Oct 2-Nov 7

Oct 21

06:20

+16

66

20

Strong

Leo Minorids

Oct 21-Oct 23

Oct 22

10:48

+37

62

2

Weak

Southern Taurids

Nov 1-Nov 25

Nov 5

03:28

+13

27

5

Medium

Delta Eridanids

Nov 6-Nov 29

Nov 10

03:52

-09

31

2

Weak

Northern Taurids

Nov 1-Nov 25

Nov 12

03:52

+22

29

5

Medium

Zeta Puppids

Nov 2-Dec 20

Nov 13

07:48

-42

41

3

Weak

Leonids

Nov 14-Nov 21

Nov 17

10:12

+22

71

variable

Irregular

Alpha Monocerotids

Nov 15-Nov 25

Nov 21

07:20

+03

60

variable

Irregular

Chi Orionids

Nov 25-Dec 31

Dec 2

05:28

+23

28

3

Medium

Phoenicids

Nov 28-Dec 9

Dec 6

01:12

-53

18

variable

Irregular

Monocerotids

Nov 27-Dec 17

Dec 9

06:48

+08

43

3

Medium

Sigma Hydrids

Dec 3-Dec 15

Dec 12

08:28

+02

58

2

Medium

Puppid-velids

Dec 2-Dec 16

Dec 12

09:00

-46

40

4

Medium

Geminids

Dec 7-Dec 17

Dec 14

07:28

+33

35

120

Strong

Coma Berenicids

Dec 12-Jan 23

Dec 20

11:40

+25

65

5

Medium

Ursids

Dec 17-Dec 26

Dec 22

14:28

+76

33

10

Strong

  High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

 Radio: A Tool For Observing Our Universe

 

 METEOR LINKS:

 2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence 

 

Meteorscatter Links 

 http://www.serve.com/wh6ef/imo-mirror/links.html

 

 

==============================================

CLICK THESE LINKS TO ALL THE OTHER SECRETS OF OUR UNIVERSE:

 Life's Origin:  The Third Day:  The Origin Of Life On Earth

 Russel James Dickson 1899-1917     The Boy Who Died On Vimy Ridge

 Great Lake Shipwrecks:  Preserving History As Sunken Monuments

Fish Psychology And Stress Avoidance:  Keys to Raising Happy Healthy Fish

The Importance of History:  Why Does History Matter?

A SIGN of Our Times:  Helium’s Happy Lazy Cousin: NEON

The REAL Dracula:  All About Vampires and Vampirism

Medical Treatment For Transvestites, Transsexuals, & Transgendered People

Biology:   The Study of Life      Wetlands:   Key To Preserving Our Future

Geology: The Study of Our Earth      Groundwater & Wells: Priceless Resources

Gender Identity and Human Sexuality      Earth, Life, & The Natural Sciences

 Radio: A Tool for Observing Our Universe      Fossils: Traces of Our Past

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/highfrequencymeteorscatterradioastronomy

High Frequency Meteor Scatter Radio Astronomy

 Genealogy, Ancestry, Family Tree, Heredity, & History

 Health, Longevity, Cancer, Medicine, & Tom Tasseff

 Groundwater:   What Is An Artesian Spring or An Artesian Well?

Puritanical Influence on American Indian Literature

Photosynthesis:  Turning The Sun’s Energy Into Food

 Green With Envy:  The Fundamental Principles of Ecology

The Benefits of Fish Hatcheries to Fishermen, Anglers, & Society

The Importance of Gender Roles & Gender Identity in Human Sexuality

 AIDS:  Drug Treatment In The Virologic Supression Of the HIV Virus

Preserving Wetlands:  A National Security Issue

Ecology And Environment:   What Makes an Ecosystem Work?

A Thirst for Knowledge: Understanding Groundwater, Wells, and Hydrology

 Read More and Learn About Everything On Helium.com

Russel James Dickson 1899-1917

 

 Correspondence :

2008 Meteor Scatter Correspondence

 http://sjwamback.googlepages.com/meteorscattercorrespondence