Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 9984)
Measurements of ionospheric and thermospheric parameters obtained by the Challenging Minisatellite Payload (CHAMP) satellite were analyzed for the time period of the solar eclipse on 8 April 2005. We have analyzed the electron density and temperature, as well as the thermospheric mass density and the neutral wind velocity. Because of the location of the eclipse close to the equator, a study of the equatorial electrojet is also included. During closest approach, CHAMP passed the region of 30% obscuration. Significant modifications of the ionosphere at F2 layer altitudes could be observed. The plasma fountain at the equator is strongly enhanced, resembling post-sunset conditions. The thermospheric mass density and zonal wind show no eclipse-related effect. The equatorial electrojet strength is reduced by almost 40%. This is about twice the amount expected from E region electron depletion at the CHAMP footprint.
(2007): Observations of the low-latitude solar eclipse on 8 April 2005 by CHAMP. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, A06303.