Global Effects of a Polar Solar Eclipse on the Coupled Magnetosphere-Ionosphere System
It is well-known that solar eclipses can significantly impact the ionosphere and thermosphere, but how an eclipse influences the magnetosphere-ionosphere system is still unknown. Using a coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere model, we examined the impact on geospace of the northern polar-region eclipse that occurred on June 10, 2021. The simulations reveal that the eclipse-induced reduction in polar ionospheric conductivity causes large changes in field-aligned current, cross-polar cap potential and auroral activity. While such effects are expected in the northern hemisphere where solar obscuration occurred, they also occurred in the southern hemisphere through electrodynamic coupling. Eclipse-induced changes in monoenergetic auroral precipitation differ significantly between the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere while diffuse auroral precipitation is interhemispherically symmetric. This study demonstrates that the geospace response to a polar-region solar eclipse is not limited just to the eclipse region but has global implications.
|Year of Publication
Geophysical Research Letters
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