IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th December, 2023 Geography


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  • In addition to studying long-term seasonal ionospheric readings from Indian Antarctica station Bharati between 2010 and 2022, a group of scientists from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have also looked at solar activity in relation to the Sun's 11-year cycle.

About Ionosphere

  • It is a region of the 100–1000 km-long, slightly ionised upper atmosphere of Earth.
  • Because the magnetic field lines are vertical in the Polar Regions, the ionosphere there is extremely dynamic and serves as a significant energy sink for space weather events and related processes in magnetosphere-ionosphere
  • Overlying the mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere is an intriguing layer.
  • It is a highly dynamic region of the atmosphere that expands and contracts in response to solar radiation.
  • Due to geographical constraints and a scarcity of stations, Antarctica has fewer ionospheric measurements than the Arctic.

Important points

  • A significant seasonal variation was observed in the ionospheric observations conducted over a decade at the Bharati station in Antarctica.
  • The equinoctial months had the highest total electron count (TEC), followed by the summer and winter.
  • The peak ionisation was ascribed by the scientists to the movement of convectional plasma from high latitudes and particle precipitation.
  • Additionally, at the Bharati region, the highest ionospheric density throughout the summer, on polar days summer days with 24 hours of sunlight were around twice that of polar nights.
  • Significance of the study: Long-term research of this kind can aid in understanding and mitigating the impacts of the ionosphere on satellite-based navigation and communication systems.


Discuss the phenomena associated with the ionosphere, including the formation of the ionospheric layers, ionization processes, and factors influencing ionospheric variability.