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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 27, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 27, 4449-4461, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-4449-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 27, 4449-4461, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-4449-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  08 Dec 2009

08 Dec 2009

Mid-latitude solar eclipses and their influence on ionospheric current systems

A. T. Tomás, H. Lühr, and M. Rother A. T. Tomás et al.
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Using CHAMP magnetic field data we study the behaviour of the geomagnetic field during two mid latitude eclipses on 21 June 2001 and 22 September 2006. The possible influence of the eclipses on different ionospheric current systems, as seen in the magnetic field measured by CHAMP, is discussed. It is expected that the blocking of solar radiation during an eclipse causes a reduction of the ionospheric conductivity and therefore has an effect on the different current systems. We address in particular the effects of the eclipses on the inter-hemispheric field-aligned currents and on the Sq current system. The two events studied occur under different seasonal conditions, e.g. June solstice and September equinox, therefore quite different aspects can be investigated. We find that the eclipses might affect the direction and intensity of the inter-hemispheric currents and possibly influence the direction of zonal winds, therefore changing the direction of the prevailing F-region dynamo currents. The eclipse in the Southern Hemisphere during September equinox caused inter-hemispheric currents similar to those observed in northern summer. Reverse inter-hemispheric currents were recorded after the end of the eclipse. A large variety of atypical currents was observed during the June event. Most of them might be related to a reversed F-region dynamo in the morning sector and an enhanced conductivity difference between the hemispheres. The eclipse in the south seems to enhance the June solstice conditions considerably.

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