Ionospheric Total Electron Content Response to Annular Solar Eclipse On June 21, 2020

Şentürk E. , Adil M. A. , Saqib M.

Advances In Space Research, vol.67, no.6, pp.1937-1947, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.asr.2020.12.024
  • Title of Journal : Advances In Space Research
  • Page Numbers: pp.1937-1947


The effects of physical events on the ionosphere structure is an important field of study, especially for navigation and radio communication. The paper presents the spatio-temporal ionospheric TEC response to the recent annular solar eclipse on June 21, 2020, which spans across two continents, Africa and Asia, and 14 countries. This eclipse took place on the same day as the June Solstice. The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based TEC data of the Global Ionosphere Maps (GIMs), 9 International GNSS Service (IGS) stations and FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 (F7/C2) were utilized to analyze TEC response during the eclipse. The phases of the TEC time series were determined by taking the difference of the observed TEC values on eclipse day from the previous 5-day median TEC values. The results showed clear depletions in the TEC time series on June 21. These decreases were between 1-9 TECU (15-60%) depending on the location of IGS stations. The depletions are relatively higher at the stations close to the path of annular eclipse than those farther away. Furthermore, a reduction of about -10 TECU in the form of an equatorial plasma bubble (EPB) was observed in GIMs at ∼20o away from the equator towards northpole, between 08:00 - 11:00 UT where its maximum phase is located in southeast Japan. Additionally, an overall depletion of ∼10% was observed in F7/C2 derived TEC at an altitude of 240 km (hmF2) in all regions affected by the solar eclipse, whereas, significant TEC fluctuations between the altitudes of 100 km - 140 km were analyzed using the Savitzky-Golay smoothing filter. To prove TEC depletions are not caused by space weather, the variation of the sunspot number (SSN), solar wind (VSW), disturbance storm-time (Dst), and Kp indices were investigated from 16th to 22nd June. The quiet space weather before and during the solar eclipse proved that the observed depletions in the TEC time series and profiles were caused by the annular solar eclipse.