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GPS observations of ionospheric TEC variations over Nepal during 22 July 2009 solar eclipse

Published: 31 March 2022

Abstract: As the study of ionospheric behavior during various solar activities is an important task, various studies of ionospheric changes during eclipse events have been widely performed in the different regions of the globe. This paper investigates the ionospheric responses to the solar eclipse on 22 July 2009 over Nepal using the total electron content (TEC) measured by dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. The time-averaged Vertical TEC (vTEC) of ten GPS stations from Nepal is analyzed and it is found that the value of ionospheric TEC decreases due to the reduction of ionizing radiation. In addition, the deviation in the TEC value on eclipse day from the mean vTEC value of the top five quietest days is found to lie in the range ~1–5 TECu at those regions which were associated with the partial eclipse shadow. On the other hand, the region with the total eclipse (BRN2 and RMTE) faced ~6–7 TECu on average reduction in the TEC value. Considering that the eclipse of 22 July 2009 occurred just at sunrise in the Nepalese zone, a maximum reduction of about 5 TECu is very significant. Higher deviation in TEC is therefore linked with the path of totality and the obscuration rate. This study reveals that the ionospheric TEC over Nepal was altered by wave-like energy and momentum transport, as well as obscuration of the solar disc due to the partial and total solar eclipse. Furthermore, the cross-correlation results presented similar type signatures of the eclipse-induced ionospheric modification over Nepal. This research work serves a crucial future reference for the comparative study of change of ionospheric TEC variability over the Nepal region during Eclipse events
Keywords: Nepal / TECu / ionospheric changes / partial / eclipse events / GPS / behavior

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