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


Save the dates! The next HamSCI workshop will be held virtually March 19-20, 2021. The HamSCI workshop is an annual meeting to share scientific and engineering ideas and results related to amateur radio, radio propagation, and radio science, as well as foster collaborations between the amateur radio and professional space science and space weather communities. The 2021 workshop will serve as both a team meeting for the Personal Space Weather Station project, as well as a forum for presentations on topics relevant to the HamSCI mission. The format will be similar to virtual March 2020 HamSCI workshop. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation and The University of Scranton, the cost of this workshop is free. Abstract will be due February 15th. Information regarding abstract submission and other workshop details will be forthcoming. Please join the HamSCI Google Group to stay up-to-date on the latest information.

The IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation have recently accepted new research by Chris Deacon G4IFX, Ben Witvliet PE5B, Simon Steendam, and Cathryn Mitchell M0IBG entitled Rapid and Accurate Measurement of Polarization and Fading of Weak VHF Signals Obliquely Reflected from Sporadic-E LayersThis research uses signals produced by a network of 6 meter amateur radio beacons across Europe.

HamSCI Member Joe Dzekevich K1YOW recently published his article "Winter Sporadic-E-Like Propagation on 6 Meters" in the November 2020 issue of CQ Magazine. Joe writes:

"The question was asked: why do we see sporadic-E like propagation in November and December, when many of the variables like UV radiation and solar exposure are at a minimum, unlike the very active sporadic-E summer months?  Much like it was shown that North Atlantic transatlantic 6m propagation during the summer was made more possible by strategically placed weather storm systems, it looks like a similar effect with very strong jet stream boundaries also affect sporadic-e like communications during the winter months.  This citizen science study is another example how amateur radio can contribute to science, and illustrates the great potentials for studies using ham radio data.  We have many amateur radio stations on the air, using modes like FT8 which make contacts on propagation paths that we thought were previously impossible."

A PDF of the Joe's article is made available here with permission from CQ Amateur Radio magazine.