The 2021 Antarctic Total Eclipse: Ground Magnetometer and GNSS Wave Observations from the 40 Degree Magnetic Meridian
On December 04, 2021, a total solar eclipse occurred over west Antarctica. Nearly an hour beforehand, a geomagnetic substorm onset was observed in the northern hemisphere. Eclipses are suggested to influence magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) coupling dynamics by altering the conductivity structure of the ionosphere by reducing photoionization. This sudden and dramatic change in conductivity is not only likely to alter global MI coupling, but it may also introduce a variety of localized instabilities that appear in both hemispheres. Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) based observations of the total electron content (TEC) in the southern high latitude ionosphere during the December 2021 eclipse show signs of wave activity coincident with the eclipse peak totality. Ground magnetic observations in the same region show similar activity, and our analysis suggest that these observations are due to an ”eclipse effect” rather than the prior substorm. We present the first multi-point interhemispheric study of a total south polar eclipse with local TEC observational context in support of this conclusion.
Authors: Coyle, S.E., Hartinger, M.D., Clauer, C.R., Baker, J.B.H., Cnossen, I. ORCID record for I. Cnossen, Freeman, M.P. ORCID record for M.P. Freeman, Weygand, J.M.