Indirect estimation of the solar wind conditions in 29–31 October 2003

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Abstract

[1] A comparative analysis of the solar wind conditions was performed for extremely disturbed event on 29–31 October 2003. It was found that the ACE and Geotail upstream monitors provided very similar data on the IMF but that plasma measurements in the SOHO CELIAS/MTOF, ACE SWEPAM, IMP 8 MIT, and Geotail CPI experiments are very different. The solar wind velocity was indirectly estimated using the time lag for propagation of such solar wind structures as interplanetary shock, Alfven waves, rotational, and tangential discontinuities from point L1 to the Earth. We found the best correspondence of the estimated velocity was with the ACE SWEPAM data, which displayed very fast (up to 2000 km/s) solar wind, while the IMP 8, Geotail, and SOHO plasma instruments are unable to measure such a fast solar wind stream. Application of the magnetopause models to a data set of numerous geosynchronous magnetopause crossings observed by GOES and LANL satellites enabled estimation of the solar wind dynamic pressure. In general the estimated pressure and density are in agreement with the solar wind plasma parameters provided by the ACE SWEPAM experiment. An estimation of the solar wind density corresponds very well to the electron density restored from the Geotail PWI data. However, during 1600–1800 UT on 29 October, 1700–1800 UT on 30 October, and 0000–0400 UT on 31 October, the estimated solar wind pressure and density are several times larger than provided by the Geotail PWI and ACE SWEPAM. A large helium abundance is considered as a possible reason for the solar wind pressure underestimation in the first case. The understated solar wind density on 30–31 October might be explained by errors in the method for restoring of the plasma data in fast solar wind (>900 km/s) accompanied with intensive fluxes (few tens of particles per cm2 s sr) of high-energy (>30 MeV) solar energetic protons.

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