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As I left the flat with my measuring-tape Yagi for the third time this week, Soph sent me a satellite image captured from Vienna this morning in which a large dust plume is clearly visible over the Mediterranean and Italy. I wondered if my DIY Yagi can pick up the dust so far away from the UK. Looking at the antenna lying on the semi-parched grass of the park, it seemed highly unlikely (how could something made of scrap materials pick up the traces of tiny particles in the atmosphere hundreds of kilometres away?). Yet despite the very weak signal received yesterday, my experience testing the antenna on Tuesday suggested it might be possible. And only thirty seconds after the satellite pass officially started, the signal from NOAA was clearly audible and visible, and only grew in strength over the next one or two minutes, so that by the time I began to angle West the signal sounded crisp. Unlike yesterday, tracking the satellite was easy, or perhaps the signal was strong enough that I didn't need to be so precise. Still, while talking to Bill who came over during the pass and kindly took both documentation photos (thanks Bill!), I did slightly dip the Yagi and noticed a drop in the signal. To my great surprise, I recorded almost fifteen minutes worth of audio, so long that WXtoImg automatically stopped recording when the satellite crested the Southern horizon. The image captures a long stretch of Atlantic weather featuring two mini-cyclones (one north of Iceland, one hovering over the north of France) and only a small part of Western Europe and Africa. The dust is out of the frame, to the East. Yet I wonder if my and Soph's images were georeferenced and composited together, might some swirls of dust be visible across both of our images? A fugitive 'weather between us' in the refractions and reflections of quasi-invisible traveling particles.

Date

20 June 2024 12:37:48

Location

Hackney Downs, London

Country or Territory

United Kingdom

Name

Sasha Engelmann

Satellite

NOAA-18

Radio Callsign

M6IOR

Latitute / Longitude

51.554111, -0.059821