Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 108, Issue 3–4, pp 243–251 | Cite as

Unique Observation of a Solar Flare by Lunar Occultation During the 2010 Annular Solar Eclipse Through Ionospheric Disturbances of VLF Signals

  • Surya K. Maji
  • Sandip K. Chakrabarti
  • Sushanta K. Mondal


Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio waves propagate through the Earth-ionosphere waveguide. Irregularities caused by excess or deficient extreme ultra-violet and X-rays, which otherwise sustain the ionosphere, change the waveguide properties and hence the signals are modified. We report the results of monitoring of the NWC transmitter (19.8 kHz) by a receiver placed at Khukurdaha (22°27′N, 87°45′E) during the partial solar eclipse (75 %) of 15th January, 2010. The propagation path from the transmitter to the receiver crosses the annular eclipse belt. We got a clear depression in the data during the period of the eclipse. Most interestingly, there was also a X-ray flaring activity in the sun on that day which reached its peak (C-type) right after the time when the eclipse reached its maximum. We saw the effects of the occultation of this flare in our VLF signal since a part of the X-ray active region was clearly blocked by the moon. We quantitatively compared by using analogies with previous observations and found best fitting parameters for the time when the flare was occulted. We then reconstructed the VLF signal in the absence of the occulted flare. To our knowledge, this is the first such incident where the solar flare was observed through lunar occultation and that too during a partial eclipse.


Solar flares Eclipses Radio waves Ionosphere 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Surya K. Maji
    • 1
  • Sandip K. Chakrabarti
    • 2
  • Sushanta K. Mondal
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Center for Space PhysicsKolkataIndia
  2. 2.S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic ScienceKolkataIndia

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