Report from the AGU Spring Meeting: U.S.–Canadian observations on the 1979 solar eclipse


  • Warren W. Berning


A strong, pulsating particle event was in progress at the time of the solar eclipse. As a consequence, eclipse effects in the middle atmosphere were suppressed or masked by particle effects. The particle flux comprised hard and soft spectral components which exhibited marked temporal and spatial variations. As a consequence, data intercomparisons have been difficult. Ionization by solar X rays and extreme ultraviolet (EUV), which are strongly modulated by a solar eclipse, was much less than the ionization produced by particles at altitudes below 95 km. Above 95 km, ionization by solar EUV became increasingly important, although even at the higher altitudes, precipitating particles were sometimes dominant.