New understanding of the solar eclipse effects on geospace: The 21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse

Figure 2 from: Huba and Drob (2017), SAMI3 prediction of the impact of the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse on the ionosphere/plasmasphere system, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1002/2017GL073549.

Last Updated:
27 December 2017
A solar eclipse generates dramatic changes throughout the Earth's geospace due to the fast reduction and recovery of solar EUV irradiation. It modifies local and global energetics, dynamics, and the ionospheric ionization supply, leading to substantial changes in the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere-mesosphere (geospace) system. It is an idealized "active experiment" to explore the impulse-response dynamics of geospace and to address some of the fundamental scientific questions in geospace. The 21 August 2017 solar eclipse provides an unprecedented opportunity for this because of the large amount of observational data obtained during the eclipse with recent major advances in sensitivity, spatial/temporal resolution, and global coverage of measurements, as well as the development of sophisticated geospace modeling tools. This special issue aims at quantifying the new understanding of the solar eclipse effects on geospace. This new understanding includes, but not limited to, global ionospheric and thermospheric changes, responses of neutral composition, temperature, and winds, traveling ionospheric disturbances, geomagnetic and electric field disturbances, localized and meso-scale structures,  lower ionospheric changes and associated impacts on VLF/LF/HF radio propagation.
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