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.

 

 

SEQP

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

 

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).

The question, “Will anybody participate in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP)?” Was answered loud and clear on eclipse day, August 21st. The HF bands were busy from the first minute of the SEQP at 1400 UTC to the closing bell at 2200 UTC. Logs were received from 566 stations. Some operated on all bands, others concentrated on one or two. In total, the SEQP generated over 618,000 RBN spots, 630,000 WSPRNet spots, 1.2 million PSKReporter spots, and 29,000 logged QSOs. The Sun may have taken a lunar nap but the bands were full of life!