The Solar storm has arrived – initial impact weaker than expected

Aurora_Map_N[1]From NASA: Spaceweather: As expected, a CME hit Earth’s magnetic field on Jan. 9th (around 20:00 UTC or 3 p.m. EST). Although the initial impact was weaker than expected, geomagnetic storms could still develop as Earth passes through the CME’s wake. NOAA forecasters are sticking by their prediction of a G3-class event on Jan. 9-10, which means high-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

From the New Jersey Institute of Technology

With instruments in space and on earth, NJIT solar experts monitor the massive solar storm

The first powerful “X-class” solar flare of 2014, in association with another solar phenomenon, a giant cloud of solar particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), erupted from the sun on Tuesday, sending radiation and particles speeding toward Earth and disrupting operations on the ground.

NASA reported on Wednesday that Orbital Sciences Corp., a commercial spaceflight company on a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station, had called off its rocket launch that day from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia because of the unusually high levels of radiation.

“This was a huge event, with the CME now classified as an R-type for its rarity, with an estimated speed much higher than we have recently seen because of the massive release of energy,” commented Andrew Gerrard, an NJIT professor of physics and deputy director of the university’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research. “Eruptions of this magnitude can cause circulation changes in the upper atmosphere, communications disruptions in space and on the ground, and other potential electrical anomalies. We can lose track of space craft, whose orbits can be disrupted by these in these events. It’s like driving through molasses.”

NJIT is continuing to measure the solar explosion’s impact from space with its instruments on the Van Allen Probes, NASA space craft that travel through the inner magnetosphere, and on the ground through instruments like those in the NATION Fabry-Perot systems in North America, which measure thermospheric winds and temperatures, and in systems across the Antarctic plateau that measure geomagnetic variability.

“This is a beautiful opportunity to look at how this material from the sun is injected into the radiation belts, inner magnetosphere, and upper atmosphere,” Gerrard said. “We may not see anything like this for another decade.”

NJIT’s Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research also operates the university’s Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in California, which is home to the world’s most powerful ground-based telescope dedicated to solar research. NJIT professors at BBSO in Big Bear have obtained new and remarkably detailed photos of the Sun with the New Solar Telescope (NST).

The flare, a giant burst of radiation designated as X-class for the most intense flares, is centered over a giant sunspot AR1944 located at the center of the sun. By Wednesday, the solar radiation storm had intensified to an S3 or strong event, while the coronal mass ejection was forecast to set off G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity through January 9 and 10, NASA said.

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections regularly send bursts of charged particles and high energy radiation in Earth’s direction at nearly the speed of light. Upon reaching our atmosphere within minutes, solar radiation can destroy the electronic systems in satellites used in telecommunications, weather forecasting and GPS systems, among other services, as well as devices on the ground, such as transformers.

In 1989, for example, a solar storm brought down the Hydro-Quebec grid within minutes, blacking out the entire province as well as parts of the Northern United States for several hours.



X class solar flare ejection may hit Earth with solar storm

WUWT Solar reference page

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57 thoughts on “The Solar storm has arrived – initial impact weaker than expected

  1. I would say premature as strongest part of CME still to come imo as the radiation storm (proton storm) is still strong and would drop rapidly after the main part CME arrived…it has not yet, so much more to come imo anyway!

  2. Does anybody have information about the possible physiological effects on the human body of this event? What is the role of atmospheric composition in the propagation of the particles and radiation? What about the impact on high-altitude air crews or people near the geomagnetic poles?

  3. One of the added benefits of my move, eight years ago from 32.5°N to 45.2°N, was hoped to be the Aurora Borealis, but not yet. I’ve seen glow low on the horizon but that has as often been a passing ship’s deck lights or Escanaba, Mich. as a distant aurora. I think I’ve got two more Solar Max’s yet in me.

  4. Gil Dewart says: January 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm “Does anybody have information about the possible physiological effects on the human body of this event? What is the role of atmospheric composition in the propagation of the particles and radiation? What about the impact on high-altitude air crews or people near the geomagnetic poles?”

    Of this event there will be zero physiological effect on the human body. Air has a shielding radiation attenuation effect. High altitude flight normally increases radiation exposure slightly.

    Please note that it is not possible to prove a statement of non-existence without examining the entire Universe of discussion – that’s where The Black Swan lurks.

  5. About 10 years ago I went to the geological community and pointed out that all rotating celestial objects with exposed viscous compositions display an uneven rotational gradient between Equatorial and Polar latitudes otherwise known as differential rotation,in other words,a rotating celestial object with a fluid composition doesn’t rotate as a unit.

    I could point out that the Earth’s 26 mile spherical deviation between Equatorial and Polar diameters fitted neatly into differential rotation but the most important aspect of applying differential rotation to the Earth’s interior was evolutionary geology where the symmetrical generation of crust off the Mid Atlantic Ridge indicated a lag/advance mechanism for Oceanic crust formation and especially the elegant ‘S’ shape of the Ridge from Northern to Southern latitudes.

    One of the nicer insights has to do with CME’s and planetary comparisons. Venus has only residual daily rotation and its evolutionary geology is restricted to volcanic activity however when CME’s strike,they act like iron filings on a paper covering a magnet in exposing the weak electromagnetic field of that planet –

    The Earth is protected by virtue that it has a rapid rotation,graceful but sizeable spherical deviation due to a maximum Equatorial speed of 1037.5 miles per hour ,has an active fractured surface crust that is being destroyed by the rotation of the fluid interior and perhaps the geomagnetic field created by this uneven gradient.

    The response of the geological community was to throw every assertion they could find at rotation without actually handling the neat arguments which tie spherical deviation,plate tectonics and geomagnetism together using an already observed astronomical principle.

    In short, CME’s are invaluable tools in the hands of a productive mind and spirit,in the wrong hands they become the usual dire ‘warnings’ and what have you.

  6. Gil Dewart says:
    January 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Does anybody have information about the possible physiological effects on the human body of this event?

    Paging our tin-foil-hatters!

  7. Who’s paging, Roger or Gil? I am an advocate against the Linear No Threshold hypothesis and for radiation hormesis. It is a serious issue, merely beyond the understanding of the inexperienced/non-professionals, like GMO.

  8. Radiation Hormesis: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Three aspects of hormesis with low doses of ionizing radiation are presented: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good is acceptance by France, Japan, and China of the thousands of studies showing stimulation and/or benefit, with no harm, from low dose irradiation. This includes thousands of people who live in good health with high background radiation. The bad is the nonacceptance of radiation hormesis by the U. S. and most other governments; their linear no threshold (LNT) concept promulgates fear of all radiation and produces laws which have no basis in mammalian physiology. The LNT concept leads to poor health, unreasonable medicine and oppressed industries. The ugly is decades of deception by medical and radiation committees which refuse to consider valid evidence of radiation hormesis in cancer, other diseases, and health. Specific examples are provided for the good, the bad, and the ugly in radiation hormesis.

  9. This article just warms my heart… The sun was VERY BRIGHT today in N. Michigan. I took a lot of pictures – just amazing – couldn’t even look at the sun with sunglasses it was that bright. Anyone else notice the brightness?

  10. Had to reboot my modem and router earlier this afternoon, an infrequent event which probably has noting to do with this solar flare.

  11. Bob Weber says: @ January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    ………….Anyone else notice the brightness?

  12. Thanks for the input so far, guys. Exposure to ionizing radiation increments, benign, malignant or neutral, is of interest to people in high level environments..

    Especially NOT using stack of dark (exposed) negative photographic film! They may reduce visible light, but transmit NIR (Near Infra-Red), they are excellent low pass “on the cheap” filter for optical experiment…

  14. At 6pm (UTC) in London our electricity supply ground almost to a halt and flickered for a few seconds and then resurged. There was a loud bang in the distance and certain properties’ supplies were knocked out.

    I realise it could be an ordinary power cut but it’s usually a clean cut-off, not this dramatic, death-thoes affair like you see in horror movies. It was as if there was a reverse induction for a few seconds as a wave came through and that was enough to blow the transformer up the road. Who knows- it was at work and I was just leaving.

  15. M Simon says: January 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm “Radiation Hormesis: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

    Thanks for the interesting on-point citation, with mention of an old favorite correspondent, Jim Muckerheide. I’ll respond with Sponsler and Cameron’s Nuclear shipyard worker study (1980–1988): a large cohort exposed to low-dose-rate gamma radiation

    “Abstract: This paper is a summary of the 1991 Final Report of the Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study (NSWS), …” I was a datum in the NSWS (Matanoski, 1991), that found a correlation between general good health and radiation exposure.

  16. Tin-foil hat may not be a very good protection against nuclear radiation, in fact it may be worst if bremsstrahlung occur. Atomic nbr of aluminum is low, but tin & lead is another story.
    For lover of radiation hormesis, Japan has great job opportunity w/t free exposition as a “healty” bonus…

  17. Doug Huffman says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Who’s paging ["our tin-foil-hatters"], Roger or Gil? I am an advocate against the Linear No Threshold hypothesis and for radiation hormesis. It is a serious issue, merely beyond the understanding of the inexperienced/non-professionals, like GMO.

    I’m sorry, I that wasn’t aimed at you, but at any tin-foil-hatters who visit WUWT. I agree with you about the LNTH.

  18. EO Peter says: January 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm “… Japan has great job opportunity w/t free exposition as a “healty” bonus…[closing ellipses in the original]”

    From ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,’ “The best of the good is the work of Dr. Sadao Hattori (Fig. 1). He recognized the implications of radiation hormesis: “If radiation hormesis exists, our daily activities in radiation management have been extremely erroneous.” (Hattori, 1994). Following a thorough literature review, the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industries (CRIEPI) inaugurated 15 research projects at 10 Japan universities. The resulting
    research papers, published in peer reviewed journals, confirmed the radiation hormesis thesis: low dose irradiation stimulates many physiologic parameters that are consistent with damage control and improved health. Today, parts of both government and industries of Japan accepted the concept of radiation hormesis. Some health care centers and hospitals in Japan use low dose radiation therapy (Sakamoto and Myojin, 1996).
    The best of the good includes the pioneering research of Dr. K. Sakamoto (Fig. 2) and associates who showed that low dose irradiation of the torso was the most effective treatment for malignant lymphoma (Sakamoto, 1996, 1997). [ ... ][emphasis DBH]“

  19. No doubt there is a lots of study proving the benefit, but any tin-foil-hatters would argue that there is also lots of study proving the benefit of homeopathy.

  20. Homeopathy cannot be falsified (after Popper), either in practice or principle, and thus falls on the non-sense side of the Problem of Demarcation.

  21. EO Peter says: @ January 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    For lover of radiation hormesis…
    So is New England. Granite ====> radioactive radon gas. We had granite ledge in our basement.

    Thanks to Petr Beckmann challenging the nuclear phobes and pointing out the high lvels of radio activity in NE homes there was a panic, radon kits were manufactured and max exposure laws passed.

    (Note the cancer levels were lower in these areas) Don’t have a pointer to the article since it was in print.

  22. @Gail Combs
    If I understand your point(s):
    1- No need to provide air circulation in susceptible basement, let the radon accumulate.
    2- It is futile to provide reasonable sealing of the floor/foundation against gaz exfiltration.
    3- Risk area like Canadian shield has nothing to fear.
    4- Radon gas is not dangerous, don’t bother to measure its concentration.

    To avoid misunderstanding, I must disclose this: I find not problem w/t normal background rad. exposure and find reasonable any statements declaring that we have evolved to max. biological efficiency at such level. My problem is that we open the door to definition/redefinition of what is the level of such “normal” radiation background, especially in those “oops” situation like Fukushima: “Oops, the reactor was fully secured, but we put the UPS outside unprotected from water”.

  23. Bob Weber says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    This article just warms my heart… The sun was VERY BRIGHT today in N. Michigan. I took a lot of pictures – just amazing – couldn’t even look at the sun with sunglasses it was that bright. Anyone else notice the brightness?
    First I never look at the sun directly, at least not when it’s much above the horizon. So I guess you looked at it, it would seem very bright. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t imagine one could detect a change in brightness today.

  24. Low doses of being exposed to radon in mines seem to be beneficial for certain cases. By “low”, I mean a total of 32 hours per year, an hour at a time, over a period of 11 days. See:

    “Radon may well be one of mankind’s oldest therapies. In Europe, the use of hot springs with high radon content dates back some 6,000 years. For over eight centuries, numerous radioactive hot springs such as found at Misasa and Tamagawa in Japan have been enjoyed. Today, more than 75,000 patients seeking a natural arthritis cure visit modern radon therapy clinics and underground galleries for the sole purpose of radon inhalation. European countries such as Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Armenia and Russia, operate medically supervised clinics (speleotherapy). Much of this therapy is medically prescribed and reimbursed through health care insurance programs. Clinical, double-blind and randomized controlled studies in those countries report findings substantiating claims of pain and symptom relief, supporting the observations of benefit equal to that reported by visitors to the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine located at Boulder, Montana, USA.”

    It is analogous to sunshine. Too much can give you skin cancer and sun burn, however small amounts like 10 minutes a day are actually beneficial and not less harmful.

  25. Paracelsus, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim identified a wasting disease of miners, the mala metallorum in 1530, thought to be the toxic effects of radon in concentrations found only in mines, as high as 10^6 Bq m^-3. Typical household concentrations are <10^2 Bq m^-3. Modern medicine cannot directly observe a radon caused death rate, epidemiology must be used*. No harm or benefit is often observed at 10^2 Bq m^-3.


  26. Best chance for an aurora last night from Sydney, but thick cloud made it a dead loss. Hoping to head out tonight in clearer conditions- this is the best hope of seeing an aurora without flying to Alaska or Iceland.Annoyingly, I have a daughter working in Seattle at the moment, but totally disinterested. If only she knew how spectacular it is.

  27. The problem with Radon is not its existence in solution, as it is an alpha source the skin is sufficient to stop it, but the fact that as a gas it can enter the lungs directly where the alpha particles are directly exposed to active cells. The energy gets transferred directly to the tissues. The question becomes: at what point is it too much and also how little is not enough?

    Of course I am not going to lose any sleep over it because the stones stacked into stone age shelters were probably higher in radon and other radioactive elements than anything emitting from normal soils today. Of course if your house is built on a granite slab, you might have more exposure. We have had a problem in our culture of being too risk averse and we are damaging our health by not exposing our children to natural doses of allergens and maybe even radiation. When the immune system doesn’t have something real to attack it sometimes attacks itself!

  28. Unfortunately, here in Georgia USA we are too far south to see any of this, but does anyone know if someone in Boston, MA might get a glimpse? My reading of the space weather center charts puts the aurora somewhere around the CA-USA border on the east coast.

  29. Mario Lento says:
    January 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm
    Bob Weber says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    “This article just warms my heart… The sun was VERY BRIGHT today in N. Michigan.”
    I don’t imagine one could detect a change in brightness today.

    Correct, if you notice a difference it probably has to do with a clear sky.
    But in all fairness, the Earth is closest to the Sun in January, so the Sun will look a tiny bit brighter than average [by a few percent, which you cannot perceive as VERY BRIGHT].

  30. Some of you may know my alternative theory for the ozone hole – I’ve chirped up whenever a thread provided an opportunity. Briefly, all atmospheric gases except for O2 oxgyen are diamagnetic, i.e. repulsed by a magnetic field. O2 is quite paramagnetic and attracted to a magnetic field. In polar regions, magnetic lines of force converge making the strongest earth fields. The natural result is an ozone hole, but also a nitrogen, CO2, methane and noble gases “hole” which gets filled in to a degree by oxygen (O2).

    A test: lower oxygen and higher other gases in temperate to equatorial zones. The effect is not powerful and “hole” is a bit of exaggeration. Also, “weather” incursions tend to dilute the effect over the arctic but less so over the south pole. Also high organics would confound expected measurement of nitrogen, methane and CO2 enrichment over the equator, but concentration of NOBLE GASES would be strong evidence of the effect. Anyone have anything on the distribution of atmospheric gases around the globe?

    Whether it is reponsible for all of the hole may be questionable but that it has some effect would be hard to refute. Question: does a CME create a stronger earth magnetic field? If so, I’m forecasting an expansion of the ozone, et al hole as a result. Watch for it!

  31. lsvalgaard says:
    January 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    “I don’t imagine one could detect a change in brightness today.”

    Lief, you mention the moderate nearness of the sun in January and I have been wondering about another aspect of the sun’s radiance. Is the sun’s radiance in the central part of the disk notably stronger than at the peripheral zone because of its sphericity. I suspect there may be a small effect because the central area is modestly closer to earth but I was thinking of the effect of the light being somewhat less direct from the peripheral zone (say one quarter of the diameter at the periphery.

  32. Gary Pearse says:
    January 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm
    Is the sun’s radiance in the central part of the disk notably stronger than at the peripheral zone
    It is, but not because of its sphericity
    The reason is that we can see through a certain amount [length of sight] of the solar atmosphere. At the limb of the sun that length is almost horizontal and so does not go to any great depth, but at the center that same length extends vertically into the Sun to a place where the temperature is higher and the sun therefore brighter. In a very real sense, the central brightening simply tells us that the Sun gets hotter with depth.

  33. Gail Combs says:
    January 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    “So is New England. Granite ====> radioactive radon gas. We had granite ledge in our basement.”

    One of the best kept secrets in the granite industry is all red granites have some uranium. A deep red beautiful granite from India, which I’ve seen facing a few buildings where I live, apparently comes close to ore grade at $100 a pound yellow cake. It is a bit of BS the concern. Listen, even look at wikipedia concerning nuclear deaths caused by nuclear energy and research. Since 1950, there has been 68 deaths, 56 (other reports say 30) of which were at Chernobyl (forget all the UN hype about expecting thousands to come). Outside of Chernobyl a Soviet plant built with no safe guards on the cheap, only 12 have died!! How can these liberal activists get away with this unbelievably dishonest scam that has prevented development of a nuclear electrical supply like France (85% nuclear – modern design and safe). Coal mining in China kills about 4000-5000 people a year by comparison.

    There are even solar panel deaths, 30 in Australia alone:

  34. We now can say this event was a bust, even after most experts predicted a strong Geomagnetic storm. I have been racking my brain on the reasons why it busted so badly. I ran the idea by my crew at Accuweather Astronomy Facebook page ( I am one of the lead space weather forecasters there) of the possibility of Venus acting as a shield at the precise time the CME was in transit, effectively taking the blow for us, hence why the weak response from ACE data. Yes, even though Venus wasn’t in the exact orbital plane as us, but was close enough to alter the plasma direction away from Earth. I am just putting this idea out there to see if there is any possible way this could be the reason for the busted impact. Our followers were disappointed after all the buildup for northern lights. :-(

  35. Gary Pearse says: @ January 9, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Gary, the solar and wind industries have killed more that the nuclear industry.

    …Wind turbine accidents involving injuries and equipment damage have surged in the past decade, peaking in 2008 with 128 incidents worldwide, according to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum. Seventy-eight fatalities, about half of them in the United States, have occurred since the 1970s….

    For solar I could not find any actual numbers. However the graph in this report shows \\the number of deaths is on a par with wind. Is Solar Power More Dangerous Than Nuclear?

    No one bothers to mention the deaths or pollution from “Green Energy”

    (I live near a nuclear power plant and want to see thorium nuclear developed to its fullest extent.)

  36. no change in the DST index yesterday, from the previous 3 days. Still at -8. Quite pathetic for CME associated with an x-class flare. perhaps the GOES x-ray needs to be re-calibrated, along with the other instruments that measure CME speed, intensity, etc..perhaps there is new physics to be learned out there. Maybe a southward Bz now actually strengthens our shields. Opposites repel under certain conditions?

  37. Bob Weber says:
    January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    This article just warms my heart… The sun was VERY BRIGHT today in N. Michigan. I took a lot of pictures – just amazing – couldn’t even look at the sun with sunglasses it was that bright. Anyone else notice the brightness?

    Looked pretty normal to me, but solar variance is so small I wouldn’t expect much, not even with being at perihelion.

    OTOH, being so close to the solstice, the midday sun is low in the sky and makes it annoying to be driving with the visor up. In the summer at my latitude (about 43°N) the sun reaches winter solstice height by 0900. At midday I have to crane my neck to see that the sun is too bright to look at.

    I saw an annular eclipse from the centerline of the track. I was impressed at how painfully bright it was near mid eclipse. Of course, that was due to dilated pupils due to the overall brightness being cut by 98%. I was also amazed by the quality of the light due to the ring illumination. It’s very hard to describe, but I figure that losing the center of the sun made the shadows less fuzzy, but the ring nature didn’t make them as sharp as they could be.

    My brother and I watched a couple partial eclipses from a good climbing tree, a silver maple. The deep lobes in the leaves made many nice apertures and cast pinhole sun images of varying size, brightness, and sharpness. If you have a solar telescope, check it occasionally, but spend most of the time in the tree.

  38. Looked to me that Bz went north during this event – mitigating the CME earthly effects. Looking at the sun: “furtive glances” would have been a better description of my observations. My camera took some very amazing pictures from morning through dusk. As a skywatcher from wayback, my subjective view is that the sun appears to brighten for a day or so following more intense flaring events. I would like to find an instrument I can carry around with me to measure that brightness objectively whenever I notice it.

    Satellite Xray measures are essentially brightness measures. Solar flares increase light intensity (and power) across the spectrum, so it’s no surprise to me we see a brighter sun after flaring events. Something tells me I could find a lot about that on the net if I look… Also, I’ll bet I could make my own brightness instrument if there are solar cells that respond to those wavelengths. This idea will have to go from wild-ass guess now to the R&D pile… Note to self – thanx for creating even more work for self… ;-)

  39. Bob Weber says:
    January 10, 2014 at 5:20 am
    Solar flares increase light intensity (and power) across the spectrum, so it’s no surprise to me we see a brighter sun after flaring events.
    You seem to be slow at learning. The biggest solar Xflare observed increased the solar brightness by 0.000267 for a few minutes. this you will not be able to see.

  40. lsvalgaard says:

    Hey Leif, is there any hard evidence that a solar flare has ever caused any significant extinction event? Figured you might know. I googled around a little on this but there are so many wingnuts out there I gave up. Just a curiosity.


  41. Jim G says:
    January 10, 2014 at 8:55 am
    Hey Leif, is there any hard evidence that a solar flare has ever caused any significant extinction event?
    Our data does not stretch far enough back in time to tell, but from the energetics of it I would say “no”. Before the advent of our technological infrastructure [around 1840] solar flares did not have any environmental effects apart from brilliant auroral displays and temporary disorientation of migrating birds.

  42. @ Jim G

    Hi. What’s a wing nut (outside its usual definition)? Is it a popular search term result that drowns out the more nuanced subject matter you are looking for? If so, I commiserate with you and shall adopt this word to describe my future frustrated search attempts.

  43. The HXIS instrument obtained images over small areas of the sun within six energy bands from 3.5 to 30 keV (3.5 to 0.4Å). The central part of the images had a spatial resolution of 8 arc-seconds. The normal time resolution was about 8 seconds but some flare observations were obtained with 1.5 second time intervals. HXIS observations showed that energetic X-rays are emitted from the footpoints of the magnetic loops seen in solar flares. HXIS showed that large coronal loops with temperatures up to 10 million degrees Kelvin are probably always present in the corona. HXIS also found that X-rays are often seen from widely separated point prior to the onset of a coronal mass ejection .

  44. Seems POES is not reporting correctly on the Energetic Electron Fluxes…
    Implications anyone???

    Energetic electron precipitation characteristics observed from Antarctica during a flux dropout event

    Mark A. Clilverd1,*, Neil Cobbett1, Craig J. Rodger2,
    James B. Brundell2, Michael H. Denton3, David P. Hartley3,
    Juan V. Rodriguez4,5, Donald Danskin6, Tero Raita7,
    Emma L. Spanswick8
    Article first published online: 5 NOV 2013
    …”””Combining the ground-based data with low and geosynchronous orbiting satellite observations on 27 February 2012, different driving mechanisms were observed for three precipitation events with clear signatures in phase space density and electron anisotropy. Comparison between flux measurements made by Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) in low Earth orbit and by the Antarctic instrumentation provides evidence of different cases of weak and strong diffusion into the bounce loss cone, helping to understand the physical mechanisms controlling the precipitation of energetic electrons into the atmosphere. Strong diffusion events occurred as the 30 keV flux than was reported by POES, more consistent with strong diffusion conditions…”””

  45. Seems that parts of this Abstract will not copy paste today.. so type them myself aaarghh..

    Energetic electron precipitation characteristics observed from Antarctica during a flux dropout event

    “”One event appeared to have a factor of about 10 to 100 times more flux than was reported by POES, consistent with weak diffusion into the bounce loss cone. Two events had a factor of about 3 to 10 times more .30 keV flux than was reported by Poes, more consistent with strong diffusion conditions.””

  46. Apparently, there is an issue between POES and ground based observations for electron precipitation.

    Energetic particle injection, acceleration, and loss during
    the geomagnetic disturbances which upset Galaxy 15

    Mark A. Clilverd,1 Craig J. Rodger,2 Donald Danskin,3 Maria E. Usanova,4 Tero Raita,5
    Thomas Ulich,5 and Emma L. Spanswick6
    published 11 December 2012.
    page 14 summary
    …”””Although the POES blc >100 keV fluxes increased by a factor of 40 during the
    event, the calculated fluxes on the basis of the groundbased observations
    were a factor of 30 times larger again.
    This is consistent with the idea that some adjustment needs to be made to the POES blc
    fluxes to take into account the orientation of the telescope to the blc,
    and the nonisotropic distribution of electrons within the blc. The observations
    suggest that the chorus-wave event produced energetic
    electron precipitation via a weak diffusion process…”””

  47. Yes there is an issue, and we are working on this under reporting of electron precipitation..

    Tuesday, 10 September, 2013
    Comparison between POES energetic electron precipitation observations and riometer absorptions; implications for determining true precipitation fluxes
    Craig J. Rodger
    Department of Physics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
    Andrew J. Kavanagh and Mark A. Clilverd
    British Antarctic Survey (NERC), Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Steve R. Marple
    Department of Physics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

    …”””Abstract. Energetic Electron Precipitation (EEP) impacts the chemistry of the middle atmosphere with growing evidence that it couples to surface temperatures at high latitudes. To better understand this link it is essential to have realistic observations to properly characterise precipitation and which can be incorporated into chemistry-climate models. The Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) detectors measure precipitating particles but only integral fluxes and only in a fraction of the bounce loss cone.
    Ground based riometers respond to precipitation from the whole bounce loss cone; they measure the cosmic radio noise absorption (CNA); a qualitative proxy with scant direct information on the energy-flux of EEP. POES observations should have a direct relationship with ΔCNA and comparing the two will clarify their utility in studies of atmospheric change.
    We determined ionospheric changes produced by the EEP measured by the POES spacecraft in ~250 overpasses of an imaging riometer in northern Finland. The ΔCNA modeled from the POES data is
    10-15 times less than the observed ΔCNA when the >30 keV flux is reported as <10 6 cm-2sec-1sr-1. Above this level there is relatively good agreement between the space-based and ground-based measurements. The discrepancy occurs mostly during periods of low geomagnetic activity and we contend that weak
    diffusion is dominating the pitch angle scattering into the bounce loss cone at these times. A correction to the calculation using measurements of the trapped flux improves the discrepancy considerably and provides further support to our hypothesis that weak diffusion leads to underestimates of the EEP…"""

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