14 October 2023 annular eclipse MW DX project
How DXers can contribute to ionospheric research during the 14 October 2023 solar eclipse.
Medium wave DXers know that during a solar eclipse, the blocking out of radiation from the sun can introduce temporary nighttime listening conditions over an area far beyond the path of totality.
When will be the next solar eclipse? There will be an annular solar eclipse on 14 October, 2023 when, at totality, the size of the Moon’s disk will appear slightly smaller than the size of the Sun’s disk, so, not quite as exciting to visual observers.
However, that eclipse is expected to have a similar effect on daytime medium wave listening conditions as would a total solar eclipse, and should not be missed by DXers.
This eclipse will start by affecting North America in the morning, then Central America, and finally part of South America, illustrated in the map to the left. During the eclipse, a number of DXers will be live listening, as well as recording the entire medium wave band using our SDRs. There could be more to our DXing results than new and unexpected receptions of distant radio stations. The rapidly changing listening conditions will be indicating a similarly turbulent ionosphere. DXers’ documenting those listening conditions through SDR recordings could provide information that will be useful to scientists who want to gain a better understanding of the Earth’s ionospheric dynamics.
How can DXers contribute to ionospheric research?
HamSCI is an organization of volunteer citizen-scientists and professional researchers who study upper atmospheric and space physics. They will be interested in examining MW DXers’ wideband SDR recordings made during both eclipses, and indeed, in having DXers assist with HamSCI’s research.
It will be important to have many participants in this project. To sign up, please go https://hamsci.org/mw-recordings/ and discover how to make sure that those DX files will also qualify as scientific data that can become part of the public record.
Those interested in finding out about all the research that HamSCI will be doing during the upcoming eclipse, check out https://hamsci.org/eclipse . Especially if you are also an amateur radio operator, there are several other ways that you might contribute to the project.
(Medium Wave DXers have previously contributed to a HamSCI study of unusual reception during the 2017 solar eclipse https://hamsci.org/sites/default/files/publications/2019_am-eclipse2017_hall-patch.pdf)
Nick Hall-Patch (2023-08-14)