SPACE YEAST: On March 17th, during the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a Space Weather Buoy to measure the effect of the CME’s impact on cosmic rays in the stratosphere. Along with radiation detectors and other sensors, the payload carried some hitchhikers–brewer’s and baker’s yeast.
Meanwhile in the ionosphere…. The eclipse had a dramatic effect on the ionization of Earth’s upper atmosphere. Normally, during the day, solar UV radiation breaks apart atoms and molecules, creating a layer of ionized gas hundreds of kilometers above Earth’s surface. The Moon, however, blocked those UV rays. Subsequent changes to the ionization structure of atmosphere altered the propagation of radio waves in the eclipse zone.