I recently went to a planetarium, the first time in decades, and was so excited to hear the the ESA (European Space Association) is launching a deep space telescope (Athena) in 2028 to study gamma rays and other phenomena in deep space.
On a few occasions, space weather experts have tried to explain Top Band propagation, and there is not much that we know and there are no prediction tools either.
There is little “magic” left on the higher bands for me, I understand propagation on all bands above 80M, and while 80M is probably an interesting band, the idea that I’ve communicated more than 11,000 miles on Top Band is da bomb, and has led me to reading about space weather and other factors that might be in play.
At the planetarium, the show discussed several forms of electro magnetic radiation that we still need to collect data on, and that with the launch of Athena, they might learn some things that to date are virtually unknown.
I recently read an article about 160M where the author does believe that something other than “normal” ionospheric propagation doesn’t cover or apply to 160M, and that maybe Gamma Rays or other cosmic rays influence and very weakly charge the ionosphere, and that that’s the reason why we can make a QSO when there is zero sunspot activity.
The diagram above would have you believe that gamma rays are way too high in the spectrum to affect HF, but since we simply have way more questions than answers, my money is on keeping an open mind. I like the theories that believe that gamma or other cosmic rays do have and influence. It seems to me that our ionospheric model and knowledge is ripe for improvement.
Imagine FT8 and and new propagation theory that evolves in the next several years. I expect some “convergence”.
I fully expect we will soon learn some of the things that we have not known before and that it will be very exciting news for the Top Band DXer.