Personal Webster. Not affiliated with any agency. Copyright 2000-2017 R. C. Mazur, VA3ROM.
CALLING ALL RADIO ENTHUSIASTS! On 21 August 2017 a total solar eclipse tracks across America with the path of totality from the U.S. northwest left coast southeast towards the right coast. Canadians will experience a partial eclipse of varying percentage of the sun covered up by the moon and the ionosphere may or may not experience increased radio propagation from the 40 metre band on down as day becomes twilight or night for a few minutes depending on your location (the lower the frequency the more pronounced the effect). Many commercial U.S. AM radio stations, located in the path of totality, are having special Solar Eclipse broadcasts to see how far their normal daylight transmissions are extended by totality with the disappearance of the ionosphere's D (absorption) layer during totality, which may increase AM radio propagation to near night time distances albeit for only a few minutes.
The CG3EXP WSPR tri-band data beacon (onboard the Canada C3 expedition ship POLAR PRINCE) will be transmitting from the high Arctic at that time (west of Resolute, Nunavut) in the famous Northwest Passage and inside the Aurora Borealis ring. It's beacon transmissions may or may not be affect as they travel south into areas of increasing solar coverage.This is an Amateur Radio first to have a roving high Arctic WSPR beacon operating during the eclipse, along with hundreds of Amateur Radio and other hobbyist receiving and transmitting stations on the air for this historic event. There are thousands of web sites dedicated to this one very important and significant solar eclipse, which will probably be the most monitored, recorded and analyzed in history, so I've only provided are a handful of those sites specifically related to radio. Many of us are also amateur astronomers and we'll be outside watching the eclipse as our robot receiving (or transmitting stations) silently do their work. It would be great to have as many Amateur Radio operators and other radio hobbyists on air a few hours before, during and after the solar eclipse transmitting, receiving (or both) and streaming real-time propagation data to the WSPRnet (WSPR), or Reverse Beacon Network (Morse and RTTY) or PSK Reporter (PSK and JT modes). This invaluable data will be used by hobbyists, scientists and researchers (worldwide) studying radio propagation and the ionosphere.
For those interested in the non-radio aspects of the eclipse, if you have a PWS (personal weather station) feeding related weather web servers (Weather Underground, et al) or just a simple digital (or analog) data display with no internet connectivity will work. Even a partial eclipse could have slight effects on air/dewpoint temperatures, relative humidty, wind speed and direction, which you can observe and record. For those in the U.S. in the path of totality, day will become night with sudden and dramatic metorological changes.
A UV (ultraviolet) sensor will detect changes in these levels during various phases of the eclipse, and the newest digital PWS usually have one or can add one. As the moon slowly crosses the sun, you can monitor ambient light levels using a LUX meter plus measure sky temperatures with an IR (infrared) thermometer. Because the entire crossing takes more than a couple of hours (for most of us) a lot of data can be collected for later analysis. Or you can build a microcomputer unit (MCU) based meter and data logger "gadget" (Arduino, PICAXE, Raspberry Pi, et al). And Android and iTunes LUX meter applications are available for smartphones. These instruments should point straight up at clear blue sky and in shadow protected from direct sunlight.
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." Personal web site. Not affiliated with any agency. Copyright 2000-2019 R. C. Mazur, VA3ROM.
SEQP 2017 Results
ATD032 Eclipse Article
Supplementary Articles
Detailed solar eclipse chronology for
what to expect and see
Article on how solar eclipses affect
terrestrial weather & the lack of
eclipse weather models
Radio science & citizen investigation using Amateur Radio
All kinds of solar data & methods of metering the Sun
How to observe the solar eclipse
using an AM radio receiver
How to safely observe solar eclipses
& general information
The Solar Eclipse & Ham Radio
Real-time & simulated views of the eclipse from any location on the Earth