, Volume 45, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 161-166

The polar ionosphere at Zhongshan station on May 11, 1999, the day the solar wind almost disappeared

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The solar wind almost disappeared on May 11, 1999: the solar wind plasma density and dynamic pressure were less than 1cm−3 and 0.1 nPa respectively, while the interplanetary magnetic field was northward. The polar ionospheric data observed by the multi-instruments at Zhongshan Station in Antarctica on such special event day was compared with those of the control day (May 14). It was shown that geomagnetic activity was very quiet on May 11 at Zhongshan. The magnetic pulsation, which usually occurred at about magnetic noon, did not appear. The ionosphere was steady and stratified, and the F2 layer spread very little. The critical frequency of day-side F2 layer, f0F2, was larger than that of control day, and the peak of f0F2 appeared 2 hours earlier. The ionospheric drift velocity was less than usual. There were intensive auroral Es appearing at magnetic noon. All this indicates that the polar ionosphere was extremely quiet and geomagnetic field was much more dipolar on May 11. There were some signatures of auroral substorm before midnight, such as the negative deviation of the geomagnetic H component, accompanied with auroral Es and weak Pc3 pulsation.