Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 24, 129-151, 2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
07 Mar 2006
From the Sun to the Earth: impact of the 27-28 May 2003 solar events on the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere
C. Hanuise1, J. C. Cerisier2, F. Auchère3, K. Bocchialini3, S. Bruinsma4, N. Cornilleau-Wehrlin5, N. Jakowski6, C. Lathuillère7, M. Menvielle2, J.-J. Valette8, N. Vilmer9, J. Watermann10, and P. Yaya8 1LPCE/CNRS, 3A avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, 45071 Orléans Cedex, France
2CETP/CNRS, 4 avenue de Neptune, 94107 St Maur des Fossés Cedex, France
3IAS, Bâtiment 121, Université Paris Sud 11 – CNRS, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
4CNES, Département de Géodésie Spatiale, 31055 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
5CETP/IPSL, 10-12 avenue de l’Europe, 78140 Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
6Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt, Kalkhorstweg 53, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany
7LPG, Bâtiment D de Physique, BP 53, 38041 St Martin d’Hères Cedex 9, France
8CLS, 8-10 rue Hermès, 31520 Ramonville Saint-Agne, France
9LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, 5 place Jules Jansen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
10Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract. During the last week of May 2003, the solar active region AR 10365 produced a large number of flares, several of which were accompanied by Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). Specifically on 27 and 28 May three halo CMEs were observed which had a significant impact on geospace. On 29 May, upon their arrival at the L1 point, in front of the Earth's magnetosphere, two interplanetary shocks and two additional solar wind pressure pulses were recorded by the ACE spacecraft. The interplanetary magnetic field data showed the clear signature of a magnetic cloud passing ACE. In the wake of the successive increases in solar wind pressure, the magnetosphere became strongly compressed and the sub-solar magnetopause moved inside five Earth radii. At low altitudes the increased energy input to the magnetosphere was responsible for a substantial enhancement of Region-1 field-aligned currents. The ionospheric Hall currents also intensified and the entire high-latitude current system moved equatorward by about 10°. Several substorms occurred during this period, some of them - but not all - apparently triggered by the solar wind pressure pulses. The storm's most notable consequences on geospace, including space weather effects, were (1) the expansion of the auroral oval, and aurorae seen at mid latitudes, (2) the significant modification of the total electron content in the sunlight high-latitude ionosphere, (3) the perturbation of radio-wave propagation manifested by HF blackouts and increased GPS signal scintillation, and (4) the heating of the thermosphere, causing increased satellite drag. We discuss the reasons why the May 2003 storm is less intense than the October-November 2003 storms, although several indicators reach similar intensities.

Citation: Hanuise, C., Cerisier, J. C., Auchère, F., Bocchialini, K., Bruinsma, S., Cornilleau-Wehrlin, N., Jakowski, N., Lathuillère, C., Menvielle, M., Valette, J.-J., Vilmer, N., Watermann, J., and Yaya, P.: From the Sun to the Earth: impact of the 27-28 May 2003 solar events on the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, Ann. Geophys., 24, 129-151,, 2006.
Publications Copernicus