Tags: solar eclipse | bow | waves

Solar Eclipse Bow Waves Invisibly Ripple Through Earth's Atmosphere

Solar Eclipse Bow Waves Invisibly Ripple Through Earth's Atmosphere

(Rinus Baak/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 December 2017 12:30 PM

The 2017 solar eclipse actually created bow waves in the Earth’s atmosphere, scientists have confirmed, after theorizing for more than 40 years that the phenomenon could occur.

These atmospheric bow waves are much like those that spread out in the water behind a boat, the International Business Times noted, but instead of water, the waves were observed in the Earth’s ionosphere – a part of the planet’s upper atmosphere – during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse over the U.S.

Scientists initially proposed the idea that the moon’s rapidly moving shadow across the planet during a solar eclipse causes gravity waves in the upper, ionized part of Earth’s atmosphere, Science Alert said.

According to National Geographic, pockets of high-pressure air are created under the moon’s shadow during a solar eclipse. As the shadow moves across the planet, these air pockets plow through low-pressure air and generate small bow waves in the atmosphere.

There have been numerous attempts to prove this theory but until now scientists have been unsuccessful.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory and the University of Tromsø in Norway were able to track the bow waves by using satellite data gathered from 2,000 sensors placed at different locations across the U.S., according to Newsweek.

A study based on their observations was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on Tuesday.

“This study reveals complex interconnections between the Sun, Moon, and Earth's neutral atmosphere and ionosphere and demonstrates persistent coupling processes between different components of the Earth's atmosphere, a topic of significant community interest,” researchers wrote in the paper, per IBT.

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The 2017 solar eclipse actually created bow waves in the Earth’s atmosphere, scientists have confirmed, after theorizing for more than 40 years that the phenomenon could occur.
solar eclipse, bow, waves
266
2017-30-27
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 12:30 PM
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