Solar Extreme Events of 2003:
Fundamental Science and Applied Aspects

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COMPARISON OF MAGNETOSPHERIC CONDITIONS DURING THREE SUPERSTORMS DRIVEN BY EXTREME SOLAR EVENTS IN LATE 2003
Kozyra J., Anderson B., Brandt P., Cattell C., Clauer C.R., Crowley G., DeZeeuw D., Evans D., Fang X., Frahm R., Gombosi T., Greer S., Hairston M., Heelis R., Huang C., Korth A., Korth H., Liemohn M., Mannucci A., Mitchell D., Moore T., Paxton L., Pollock C., Ridley A., Sharber J., Thomsen M., Tsurutani B., Winningham D., Zhang Y., Zurbuchen T.,

Three superstorms occurred in October/November 2003 triggered by a series of major X-class flares and fast coronal mass ejections from several large and complex active regions on the sun. The first two superstorms (29-31 October 2003) were accompanied by X-class flare activity, high-speed solar wind (reaching speeds > 1500 km/s), shocks and high levels of solar particles. Conditions during the 20 November 2003 superstorm, which was triggered by one of the active regions on its second transit of the solar disc, were considerably different. Solar wind speeds were much lower (reaching only ~700 km/s), only M-class solar flares were seen with a much weaker solar particle event; however the southward IMF in the solar wind disturbance reached values roughly twice as large as in the earlier October events. This presentation compares and contrasts magnetospheric observations of the inner plasma sheet, ring current, plasmasphere, and related precipitation and ionospheric signatures during these three superstorms, using observations and models, and discusses the differences in magnetospheric response and global energy balance in the context of the differences in the extreme solar wind drivers.





Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, 2004