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No. 71: Sep-Oct 1990

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Lunar Eclipses And Radio Propagation

One can understand why long range radio propagation might be affected during a solar eclipse, because the ionizing radiation of the sun is temporarily intercepted by the moon. There is no such obvious explanation for radio propagation problems during lunar eclipses. Nevertheless, we have the following observation by L.M. Nash:

"During 1978/79, I was stationed on Diego Garcia (U.S. Naval base in the Indian Ocean). I was an amateur radio operator then, and one night there was a total (or near total) eclipse of the moon. I was in contact with a station in Utah, on the 15 meter (21.0 to 21.45 MHz) band. When the eclipse started, the Utah station faded out, and all I heard was a sizzling, crackling noise across the entire 15-meter band. This started and ceased within the duration of the eclipse. I then reestablished contact with the Utah station, who was still on the same frequency talking to a friend of his. When I asked him what happened, he stated that my signal had just disappeard."

(Nash, Lemuel M.; personal communication, May 12, 1990.)

From Science Frontiers #71, SEP-OCT 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987