The Aurora event of yesterday/last night has produced some spectacular visual displays around the world, and at latitudes where this phenomenon is rarely seen. Pictures have been taken as far south in the UK as Gloucestershire and Suffolk. Unfortunately here in Lincoln, there was a fog brought in by an abrupt temperature drop in the early evening. That being said, even if it had been clear skies, I would have had to travel out into the country to get away from the light pollution. Some pictures were taken on the Lincolnshire Wolds, where the air is cleaner and clearer.
Last night, on retiring about 11 pm, I switched on the bedside radio to listen to a bit of RRI, who have an English broadcast between 23:00 and midnight on 7220 KHz. This is usually a strength 5 signal into the UK. Last night, there was nothing. Checking the rest of the 41m band gave the same results, a dead band. 49m was the same. The CME, which gave us such a fantastic Aurora event, caused an HF blackout. Looking at blogs today, this seemed to be the case in the US as well, well into today in fact.
I have never witnessed an HF blackout before so it was quite an experience. I haven’t had time to get listening to see if things have improved. It just goes to show the power of the Sun and how we, with all our electronics and know-how, are still at the mercy of the most basic Natural events. A sobering thought!