2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Map of US Eclipses from 2017-2052

On 21 August 2017, a total solar eclipse caused the shadow of the moon to traverse the United States from Oregon to South Carolina in just over 90 minutes. Although the ionospheric effects of solar eclipses have been studied for over 50 years, many unanswered questions remain. HamSCI invited amateur radio operators to participate in a large-scale experiment which characterized the ionospheric response to the total solar eclipse and targeted open science questions.

Hundreds of ham radio operators helped out by getting on the air with the Solar Eclipse QSO Party, a contest-like operating event designed to generate data for studying the eclipse. Other HamSCI experiments included making HF Frequency Measurements, recording HF spectra, setting up a Reverse Beacon Network Receiver, particpating in VLF/LF receiving experiements, and listening to AM broadcast stations. See our Eclipse Get Involved for more information.

Are you curious about how prior total solar eclipses affected the ionosphere? Read about radio experiements during the 1999 United Kingdom Total Solar Eclipse coordinated by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.




Get on the air with the Solar Eclipse QSO Party!

Get Involved!

How can hams and the general public get involved?

The Experiment

Details of the plan to study the 2017 solar eclipse.


Join the HamSCI-Eclipse Mailing List


This week, many HamSCI members are presenting their research at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C. The AGU Fall meeting is one of the largest geoscience meetings in the world, and consists of about 24,000 attendees. The scientific program includes sessions pertaining to all areas of geophysics, including space weather, the solar wind, auroral activity, the ionosphere, and the neutral atmosphere. Below is a list of selected presentations and sessions being given by HamSCI members, or of general interest to ham radio operators. The complete scientific program is available here.

In his recent QEX article, “Ionospheric Disturbances at Dawn, Dusk, and During the 2017 Eclipse,” Steve Cerwin, WA5FRF published his analysis of observations of WWV (5 MHz) and WWVB (60 kHz) transmitters in Ft. Collins, CO as received at his home in San Antonio, TX.  Cerwin reports that during the August 21, 2017 eclipse, a definite and measurable enhancement of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) signals from his station. In addition to eclipse observations, Cerwin also examined the dawn and dusk transitions on both frequencies. Notable findings include a propagation null on WWVB that is correlated in time with dusk and dawn, and is consistent with destructive interference from a combination of ionospheric skip and ground-wave multipath propagation. Cerwin also reports on increased frequency jitter at 5 MHz during these times, as well a radical positive frequency swing at dawn and a negative swing at dusk.

Full text of Steve Cerwin’s article is available here. This is from the September/October 2018 QEX, copyright ARRL. HamSCI thanks the ARRL for permission to reprint this article.


CQ Amateur Radio Magazine published an article by Rich Moseson, W2VU, about the 2018 HamSCI meeting in the May 2018 issue entitled, "A Virtuous Cycle: Hams and Scientists Helping Each Other". The 2018 HamSCI Workshop was held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) February 23-24, 2018 and brought together hams and space scientists from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Over 60 people in attended, and presentations included results from the 2017 Great American Eclipse, ideas for a personal space weather station, and other amateur radio-space science experiments and projects. PDFs of most presentations from the workshop are available here. Full text of the CQ Article is available here (Copyright CQ Communications, Inc., Posted by permission).