Science Seminars

Solar Eclipse Induced Thermospheric Changes: GOLD Mission Observations​

Speaker: Saurav Aryal (LASP)
Date: Thursday, Nov 18, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Seminar Abstract:

Very few thermospheric measurements of eclipse induced thermospheric changes existed and most studies have been based on ionospheric parameters. Recently, NASA’s Global-scale Observation of Limb and Disk’s (GOLD) mission observed thermospheric composition and temperature changes during the July 4th, 2019 and the December 14, 2020 total solar eclipses synoptically. These observations show that the eclipses’ induced significant compositional and neutral temperature changes compared to the baseline observations made couple of days prior. The Thermospheric Ionospheric Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIE-GCM) and GLobal airglOW (GLOW) model was used to simulate GOLD observations. The simulations significantly underestimated compositional (by a factor of 1.6) and temperature (by > 100K) changes near the totality when compared with the GOLD observations. These discrepancies show inadequacies in current Thermosphere-Ionosphere (TI) system models. Addressing these data-model disagreements has the potential to improve our understanding of the TI system and its modelling.