Introduction to Violent Sun-Earth Connection Events of October-November 2003
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB HANSCOM AFB MA SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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The violent solar eruptions of October-November 2003 are one of the best observed outbreaks of intense solar activity to date. These events, referred to as the Halloween storms, are extreme events in terms of both their source properties at the Sun and their heliospheric consequences. The plasma, particle, and electromagnetic consequences of these events were detected at several locations in the heliosphere thanks to the distributed network of spacecraft. Disturbances associated with two of the October-November 2003 eruptions arrived at Earth in less than a day. Historically, only 13 such fast transit events, including the Carrington event of 1 September 1859, have been observed. Remarkably, the two fast transit events in October 2003 occurred on consecutive days, following a delay of over 30 years from the previous such event on 4 August 1972. Several aspects of the Halloween storms, including active region size and potential energy, flare occurrence rate and peak intensity, CME speed and energy, shock occurrence rate, solar energetic particle SEP occurrence rate and peak intensity, and the geomagnetic storm intensity, displayed extreme behavior. This outbreak of strong solar activity resulted in a broad spectrum of space weather impacts. About 59 of the reporting spacecraft and about 18 of the onboard instrument groups were affected by these storms. Major societal impacts also occurred. In this article, the authors present an overview of key findings on the sizeimpact of the Halloween storms of 2003 as published in American Geophysical Union journals i.e., Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, and Space Weather. These articles are included here as references.
- Atmospheric Physics