“ANCHOR/PAUL: Speaking of celestial things relevant to hams, let’s consider this month’s supermoon. I recently did — and I was joined by an expert.
There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming so-called “supermoon” on the evening of November 14th. A “supermoon” is when the moon passes much closer to the Earth than is usual, and it appears to be much bigger. Some are questioning how this will affect moonbounce, or E-M-E amateur communications.
I spoke with Al Katz, K-2-U-Y-H, who is very active in moonbounce, about the upcoming event. Will it have any effect?
AL KATZ: It has virtually no effect. You can still bounce radio signals off the moon, even at HF. I know a Japanese EME’er who’s got very nice echoes at 21 megahertz/15 meters so it can be done. The reason that people aren’t as interested in it, of course, is that you can regularly work long distances all the time and the advantage of getting these weak signals off the moon – and they’re still weak signals, even at 15 meters – even under bad conditions you’re still better off using skip and propagation if your only interest is working an interesting place which is one of the exciting parts of amateur radio.
PAUL: Then according to Katz, it’s interesting to watch, but otherwise it’s business as usual?
AL KATZ: That is correct. It’s beautiful, and you see a full moon, especially when it’s near a horizon and it looks enormous and it even looks more enormous during a “supermoon” – I’ve viewed supermoons myself – but this is not the only one, they come along fairly regularly.
PAUL: So take a few moments on the evening of the 14th to walk outside and take a closer look at the Moon. And then go back inside and bounce some radio waves off of it. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun WD9GCO.”
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