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Perturbations in Earth’s Atmosphere over An Indian Region during the Total Solar Eclipse on 22 July 2009


During a total solar eclipse (TSE) on 22 July 2009, atmospheric perturbations were monitored from the surface to thermosphere to understand TSE’s impact on the meteorological (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and wind direction) and chemical (O3 and NOx) parameters around Kadapa (14.28°N, 78.42°E), a tropical semi-arid region of India. For this purpose, an experiment was conducted at Yogi Vemana University Campus, Kadapa, India, to measure the temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and concentrations of ozone (O3), NO, NO2, and NOx by using the automatic weather station (AWS) and O3 analyzer. On the eclipse day (22 July 2009), the surface observations at Kadapa showed a reduction in temperature (about 1.1°C) because of the solar insulation. Comparison of the thermal, dynamical (wind), and chemical parameters on the TSE day with control days [preceding (21 July 2009) and succeeding (23 July 2009) the TSE] illustrated the influence of solar eclipse. During the eclipse period, the O3 mixing ratio decreased, while NO2 and NOx increased; however, NO remained unchanged. In addition, radio occultation (RO) temperature profiles from Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC)/Formosat Satellite Mission (FORMOSAT-3) and Thermosphere, Ionosphere, and Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellites were utilized to understand the impact of TSE on dynamics of the middle and upper atmosphere from tropopause to the thermosphere. High vertical resolution COSMIC observations revealed that during the solar eclipse, tropopause was cooler with twin peaks (double tropopause). The lower thermosphere between 110 and 130 km became warmer during the TSE, which might be caused by the dynamical response of the atmosphere in this region to the solar eclipse. The experimental data have provided very fine-scale variations of the atmospheric parameters both in time and height and also constituted a new set of results on TSE for further research.

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We sincerely acknowledge the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bangaluru for sponsoring the Semi-arid-zone Atmopsheric Research Centre (SARC) at Yogi Vemana University, Kadapa to carry out this study. COSMIC data are obtained from the website and authors are very much thankful to all members of CDAAC team for providing the COSMIC data freely. The authors acknowledge efforts of the TIMED/SABER team for free access to the data. Mr. S. B. Surendra Prasad and Mr. M. Venkatarami Reddy greatly acknowledge ISRO, Govt. of India for providing the financial support through research fellowships to carry out this study.

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Correspondence to K. Krishna Reddy.

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Prasad, S.B.S., Kumar, V., Reddy, K.K. et al. Perturbations in Earth’s Atmosphere over An Indian Region during the Total Solar Eclipse on 22 July 2009. J Meteorol Res 33, 784–796 (2019).

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Key words

  • total solar eclipse (TSE)
  • atmospheric perturbations
  • tropopause dynamics
  • COSMIC/FORMOSAT-3 satellite
  • radio occultation (RO) observations