The peak for the Eta Aquarids meteor shower was due, according to the International Meteor Organization, at 01z on 6th May, 2013. This is a fairly dependable shower, associated with Halley’s comet, usually providing a zenith hourly rate (ZHR) of around 60. This year, the peak coincided with a Europe-wide contest on 144MHz over the weekend of 4th/5th May, so it provided an opportunity to receive long-distance signals via the ionisation left by meteors as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere. However, it became apparent during the 5th that something unusual was happening: The meteor shower was “outbursting”, i.e. it was producing a much higher rate than usual, and the quality of meteor bursts was exceptional. So exceptional, in fact, that many contacts were made and reported as Sporadic E!
To give some idea of how good conditions were, I’ve created a playlist of some of the signals I heard over the period 5th-7th May. These are all on 144MHz, and all via meteor-scatter. It’s a shame about the busted QSO with YT1S, who I think was a bit taken aback when called by an EI!
Included in the audio are: 9A2L@JN86hf/1905km, DL1MAJ/P@JN58vf/1480km, DM3W@JO62xe/1509km, F0FYP@JN37lo/1190km, F1AZJ/P@JN28ok/1029km, F1EYB@JN23kk/1357km, HB9FAP@JN47ph/1361km, I4BME@JN54ql/1667km, IW1RGS/1@JN44mj/1523km, IW4AJP/4@JN54qe/1683km, IZ5ZWU/6@JN63gn/1799km, DR2X@JO40ql/1232km, DG8NCO@JO50vh/1402km, OE8HSF@JN76gw/1727km, OK1KAD@JO60ki/1476km, OK1KCR@JN79vs/1693km, OK1KIR@JO70dh/1574km, OK1VDJ@JN79us/1688km, OK2KGB@JN79qj/1678km, OK7O@JN69ou/1514km, OM8A@JN87wv/1909km, S57O@JN86dt/1852km, SP6HED@JO80il/1739km, YT1S@JN94ro/2187km, YU1EV@KN04cn/2240km, along with a couple of unknowns and chaotic bursts with multiple stations!