Attenuation of global ultraviolet and visible irradiance over Greece during the total solar eclipse of 29 March 2006
- 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
- 2Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Wessling, Germany
- 3National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece
Abstract. The variability of ultraviolet and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) during the total solar eclipse of 29 March 2006 was examined in this study. The measurements from NILU-UV multichannel radiometers at 7 stations of the Greek UV Network were used, where the maximum eclipse percentage ranged from 73.1% to 94.8%. In addition, an extra instrument was established at a remote Greek island, Kastelorizo, which was within the Moon's umbral shadow. The reduction of irradiance at 305 and 312 nm relative to non-eclipse conditions at all sites was almost 1.5 times more than the corresponding decrease in the UVA and visible part of the spectrum and reached 98% for eclipse percentage equal to 94%. The availability of several instruments in close proximity to the path of the umbral shadow provided a challenging test for the models. The measured changes in UV and visible irradiance were compared with 1-D model calculations accounting for the limb darkening effect. The agreement between measurements and modeled values at all sites is within 3% for eclipse percentages of less than 30% and becomes worse as the eclipse progresses. The 1-D model reproduced the spectral effect of the eclipse in UVA and PAR wavelength regions within 3% for eclipse percentages up to 50%, but only the half of the observed change was captured as the eclipse progressed. At three sites, where the eclipse maximum was more than 94%, the measured irradiance at 305 nm for eclipse percentages of more than 85% decreased with slower rates than for longer wavelengths. As a result, the total ozone values, derived from the 305/320 nm ratios, apparently decreased significantly for high eclipse percentages. The effect is similar at all three sites, but the interpretation of this observation remains a challenge. Comparison results with 3-D model calculations shortly before, during and shortly after totality were performed for the first time and revealed an agreement with measurements within 20% in the UV-A region. However, the modeled estimates of irradiance at 312 nm are three times lower than measured values.