, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 267-271
Date: 14 Aug 2004

Space weather effects of October–November 2003

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Space weather events

The period between late October and early November of 2003 included a series of large solar events that resulted in some of the most extreme space weather of the current solar cycle. Space weather has been defined as the conditions on the sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems. Adverse conditions in the space environment can cause disruption of satellite operations, communications, navigation, and electric power distribution grids, leading to a variety of socioeconomic losses (National Science Foundation 2000) .

The space weather events of October–November 2003 were initiated by three very large sunspot clusters that became visible on the Sun over a period of approximately 7 days beginning on 18 October, 2003. One of these clusters, region 486, became the largest sunspot group of the current solar cycle and the largest seen since 19 ...