Why is the Sun so quiet? As the Sun enters into a period of time known as a Solar Minimum, it is, as expected, showing fewer sunspots and active regions than usual. The quietness is somewhat unsettling, though, as so far this year, most days show no sunspots at all. In contrast, from 2011 – 2015, during Solar Maximum, the Sun displayed spots just about every day. Maxima and minima occur on an 11-year cycle, with the last Solar Minimum being the most quiet in a century. Will this current Solar Minimum go even deeper? Even though the Sun’s activity affects the Earth and its surroundings, no one knows for sure what the Sun will do next, and the physics behind the processes remain an active topic of research. The featured image was taken three weeks ago and shows that our Sun is busy even on a quiet day. Prominences of hot plasmasome larger than the Earth, dance continually and are most easily visible over the edge.

What you see above is something I have copied, with permission, from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, a website that I visit at least once a week (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180820.html).  The picture of the Sun above, taken by Alan Friedman, show the absence of any sun spots.  Combine that with the fact that the Gray Line is appearing later each morning as we approach the end of Summer and we can understand why our band conditions have been so poor.


It has been a long tradition in the NEWN to hold a luncheon in August, usually the third Saturday of the month).  It’s been not only an opportunity to put a face on a call sign but also a chance for group discussion of issues (or non-issues).  It has also been an opportunity to pass the reins of Net Manager if a new Net Manager had been elected by the members at the turn of our fiscal year, May 1st.

Interest in the annual luncheon has waned over the past few years with declining attendance.  The usual reason has been the distance traveled to get to the luncheon in Swanzey NH.  So, this year I decided to see if we could expand the luncheon venue to the primary areas of the membership.  My plan was to hold four luncheons on the four weekends of the month of August.  The first was to be held in Connecticut, the second in Maine, the third in New Hampshire (as usual at Pappagallo’s), and the fourth meeting on Cape Cod.

Well, the best laid plans of mice, men, and Net Managers often go astray!  Although I handed the Net Manager role to Jack Caoron, W1AYX, in May, I continued to take responsibility for the annual get together.

The first problem was that there was almost no interest in a luncheon in Norwich, CT.  But I thank Jim, KB1KCA, from East Lyme, CT for trying to help.  So we cancelled the first luncheon.  The second luncheon was held in Hudson, ME and was hosted by Stes, K1WXY, at his camp just north of Bangor, ME on Little Pushaw Pond.  Four members attended:  Jack, W1AYX, our new Net Manager, Stes our host, Andrew, N1WMR, from Bar Harbor, ME, and myself, K1MGH after a two day trip to northern ME.  Jack and I brought our wives (and my dog, Seamus) and the six of us had a very nice luncheon.  The third luncheon was cancelled because the venue, Pappagallo’s, was sustained a lightning strike that wiped out most of their facilities.  The fourth luncheon was held at the Parrot Bar & Grill in Bourne, Cape Cod.  Five members attended:  Tom, WA1KDD, Gene, KX1C; Henry, K1WCC; Doug, N1JBG; Greg, W1SOO; Charlie, K1CB and his wife Helen.  We had a good time and good food.

Hudson, ME:

Bourne, Cape Cod

Luncheon in Bourne MA on August 25th

The NEWN luncheon in Bourne MA will be held at the Parrot Bar & Grill,  good beer and good food.  For those that don’t know where the Parrot Bard & Grill is, it is located on Rte 28A in Bourne.  If you are coming from Off-Cape, cross the Bourne Bridge and take Rte 28 to the Otis rotary.  Take the 1st exit off the rotary and then an immediate left turn and you are on Rte 28A.  The Parrot is about 3-4 miles down 28A.  It is just past the first big intersection.  There are two parking lots.  We can gather in the first parking lot.

If you are coming from Down Cape, take the Rte 51  to the North Falmouth exit, Route 151, at the Mashpee rotary (second exit).  Follow Rte 151 to Route 28A, just past the entrance/exit ramps  of Rte 28…don’t get onto Rte 28.  Turn right onto Rte 28A.  Go about 12-3 iles and the Parrot will be on the left.  Park in the parking lot on the far side of the restaurant.  Rag chew at 1:30, lunch at 12 noon.

Luncheon in Maine

The NEWN luncheon in Maine is coming this Saturday, August 11th at Stes’s camp at Little Pushaw Pond near Hudson ME.  If you are coming bring your own entree and beverages.  I’ll supply condiments, salads, and disposable dishes, napkins, and tableware.  Directions: click on the link below.  Be patient, the download has three pages and several pictures.

Getting to Camp – Copy