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Atmospheric Perturbations Around The Eclipse Path (APEP) Mission

Atmospheric Perturbations Around The Eclipse Path (APEP) Mission:

NASA is set to launch a mission called APEP to study how a solar eclipse affects the upper atmosphere.

  • The mission will involve launching of three rockets equipped with scientific instruments.
  • Objective to know how the upper atmosphere will change during the eclipse, especially the moment when there would be a sudden reduction in light.
  • During an eclipse, the sudden drop in sunlight causes changes in the ionosphere, creating waves that ripple through this atmospheric layer.
  • It will measure changes in electric and magnetic fields, density, and temperature.
  • This launch will take place at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with a specific focus on the ionosphere.
  • According to NASA, the ionosphere’s temperature and density are projected to decrease during the eclipse, resulting in a wave-like disturbance that has the potential to disrupt GPS and other satellite communications.