Solar flare disrupts RNW shortwave reception

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A flood of reports came in during a RNW broadcast this morning; shortwave reception was extremely poor and some listeners reported being unable to hear anything at all.  A huge solar flare that started at around 0800 UTC was responsible for the reception problems and fade out.

Solar flares disrupt the way a shortwave signal bounces off the ionosphere. Normally, a short wave signal bounces and, despite the fact that the Earth is round, can travel thousands of kilometres.

RNW’s medium wave frequency – 1296 kHz – has not been affected by the solar flare as medium wave is not dependent on an ionosphere bounce during daylight hours. Around an hour after the solar flare started, shortwave reception began returning to normal. 


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