Sunday, July 13, 2008

Solar Flares and Meteor Events

Solar flares, are explosive events that occur in or near an active region on the sun’s surface. Flares can be detected with a very low frequency (VLF) receiver operating in the 20- to 100-KHz (kilohertz, or thousand hertz) band. (This is below the region of the spectrum where AM radio stations broadcast.) Such a receiver can be homemade, using plans supplied by such organizations as SARA. Solar flares can also be monitored in regular shortwave radio bands with a standard shortwave receiver. Why do solar flares create radio signals? They generate x-rays that strike a part of our atmosphere called the ionosphere, greatly enhancing the electron count in this atmospheric region. These electrons generate the noise picked up by the radio.

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