A Caltech Library Service

Heliophysics at total solar eclipses

Pasachoff, Jay M. (2017) Heliophysics at total solar eclipses. Nature Astronomy, 1 (8). Art. No. 0190. ISSN 2397-3366. doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0190.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Observations during total solar eclipses have revealed many secrets about the solar corona, from its discovery in the 17th century to the measurement of its million-kelvin temperature in the 19th and 20th centuries, to details about its dynamics and its role in the solar-activity cycle in the 21st century. Today's heliophysicists benefit from continued instrumental and theoretical advances, but a solar eclipse still provides a unique occasion to study coronal science. In fact, the region of the corona best observed from the ground at total solar eclipses is not available for view from any space coronagraphs. In addition, eclipse views boast of much higher quality than those obtained with ground-based coronagraphs. On 21 August 2017, the first total solar eclipse visible solely from what is now United States territory since long before George Washington's presidency will occur. This event, which will cross coast-to-coast for the first time in 99 years, will provide an opportunity not only for massive expeditions with state-of-the-art ground-based equipment, but also for observations from aloft in aeroplanes and balloons. This set of eclipse observations will again complement space observations, this time near the minimum of the solar activity cycle. This review explores the past decade of solar eclipse studies, including advances in our understanding of the corona and its coronal mass ejections as well as terrestrial effects. We also discuss some additional bonus effects of eclipse observations, such as recreating the original verification of the general theory of relativity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Pasachoff, Jay M.0000-0002-4372-4928
Additional Information:© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. Received: 08 May 2017; Accepted: 27 June 2017; Published online: 01 August 2017. I thank S. Koutchmy, Z. Qu, H. Kurokawa, I. Kim, T. Chandrasekhar and J. Singh for information about articles from their respective countries. My research on the 2017 eclipse is supported in large part by grants from the Solar Terrestrial Program of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division of the US National Science Foundation and from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. The author declares no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Geographic SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171130-091334767
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83589
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 17:33
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:12

Repository Staff Only: item control page