Solar Physics

, Volume 274, Issue 1–2, pp 321–344 | Cite as

Comparing Solar Minimum 23/24 with Historical Solar Wind Records at 1 AU

  • L. K. JianEmail author
  • C. T. Russell
  • J. G. Luhmann
Open Access
The Sun–Earth Connection near Solar Minimum


Based on the variations of sunspot numbers, we choose a 1-year interval at each solar minimum from the beginning of the acquisition of solar wind measurements in the ecliptic plane and at 1 AU. We take the period of July 2008 – June 2009 to represent the solar minimum between Solar Cycles 23 and 24. In comparison with the previous three minima, this solar minimum has the slowest, least dense, and coolest solar wind, and the weakest magnetic field. As a result, the solar wind dynamic pressure, dawn–dusk electric field, and geomagnetic activity during this minimum are the weakest among the four minima. The weakening trend had already appeared during solar minimum 22/23, and it may continue into the next solar minimum. During this minimum, the galactic cosmic ray intensity reached the highest level in the space age, while the number of solar energetic proton events and the ground level enhancement events were the least. Using solar wind measurements near the Earth over 1995 – 2009, we have surveyed and characterized the large-scale solar wind structures, including fast-slow stream interaction regions (SIRs), interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs), and interplanetary shocks. Their solar cycle variations over the 15 years are studied comprehensively. In contrast with the previous minimum, we find that there are more SIRs and they recur more often during this minimum, probably because more low- and mid-latitude coronal holes and active regions emerged due to the weaker solar polar field than during the previous minimum. There are more shocks during this solar minimum, probably caused by the slower fast magnetosonic speed of the solar wind. The SIRs, ICMEs, and shocks during this minimum are generally weaker than during the previous minimum, but did not change as much as did the properties of the undisturbed solar wind.


Solar Wind Solar Cycle Solar Phys Solar Minimum Solar Wind Speed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abramenko, V., Yurchyshyn, V., Linker, J., Mikić, Z., Luhmann, J., Lee, C.O.: 2010, Astrophys. J. 712, 813. doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/712/2/813. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Altschuler, M.A., Newkirk, G. Jr.: 1969, Solar Phys. 9, 131. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Berdichevsky, D.B., Szabo, A., Lepping, R.P., Vinas, A.F., Mariani, F.: 2000, J. Geophys. Res. 105(A12), 27289. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Bisi, M.M., Jackson, B.V., Buffington, A., Clover, J.M., Hick, P.P., Tokumaru, M.: 2009, Solar Phys. 256, 201. doi: 10.1007/s11207-009-9350-9. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Bisi, M.M., Jackson, B.V., Breen, A.R., Dorrian, G.D., Fallows, R.A., Clover, J.M., Hick, P.P.: 2010, Solar Phys. 265, 233. doi: 10.1007/s11207-010-9594-4. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Burlaga, L.F.: 1991, In: Schwenn, R., Marsch, E. (eds.) Physics of the Inner Heliosphere 2, Springer, Berlin, 1 – 22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burlaga, L.F., Sittler, E., Mariani, F., Schwenn, R.: 1981, J. Geophys. Res. 86, 6673. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Burton, R.K., McPherron, R.L., Russell, C.T.: 1975, J. Geophys. Res. 80, 4204. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Cranmer, S.R., Hoeksema, J.T., Kohl, J.L.: 2010, In: SOHO-23: Understanding a Peculiar Solar Minimum, Proceedings of SOHO 23 Workshop CS-428, Astron. Soc. Pac., San Francisco, 336. Google Scholar
  10. Crooker, N.U., Lazarus, A.J., Lepping, R.P., Ogilvie, K.W., Steinberg, J.T., Szabo, A., Onsager, T.G.: 1996, Geophys. Res. Lett. 23, 1275. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. Dungey, J.W.: 1961, Phys. Rev. Lett. 6, 47. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. Gibson, S.E., Webb, D.F., Thompson, B.J.: 2010, In: Cranmer, S.R., Hoeksema, J.T., Kohl, J.L. (eds.) SOHO-23: Understanding a Peculiar Solar Minimum CS-428, Astron Soc. Pac., San Francisco, 223. Google Scholar
  13. Gibson, S.E., Kozyra, J.U., de Toma, G., Emery, B.A., Onsager, T., Thompson, B.J.: 2009, J. Geophys. Res. 114, A09105. doi: 10.1029/2009JA014342. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gosling, J.T.: 1990, In: Russell, C.T., Priest, E.R., Lee, L.C. (eds.) Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes, Geophys. Monogr. Ser. 58, AGU, Washington, 343. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gosling, J.T.: 1997, In: Crooker, N., Joselyn, J.A., Feynman, J. (eds.) Coronal Mass Ejections, Geophys. Monogr. Ser. 99, AGU, Washington, 9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gosling, J.T., Pizzo, V.J.: 1999, Space Sci. Rev. 89, 21. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Harvey, J.W., Hill, F., Hubbard, R.P., Kenndy, J.R., Leibacher, J.W., Pintar, J.A., Gilman, P.A., et al.: 1996, Science 272(5266), 1284. doi: 10.1126/science.272.5266.1284. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoeksema, J.T.: 1995, Space Sci. Rev. 72, 137. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoeksema, J.T., Wilcox, J.M., Scherrer, P.H.: 1983, J. Geophys. Res. 88, 9910. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Hundhausen, A.J.: 1972, Coronal Expansion and Solar Wind, Springer, New York. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jian, L., Russell, C.T., Gosling, J.T., Luhmann, J.G.: 2005, In: Fleck, B., Zurbuchen, T.H., Lacoste, H. (eds.) Proc. Solar Wind 11/SOHO 16 – Connecting Sun and Heliosphere SP-592, ESA, Noordwijk, 731. Google Scholar
  22. Jian, L., Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Skoug, R.M.: 2006a, Solar Phys. 239, 337. doi: 10.1007/s11207-006-0132-3. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  23. Jian, L., Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Skoug, R.M.: 2006b, Solar Phys. 239, 393. doi: 10.1007/s11207-006-0133-2. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. Jian, L.K., Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Skoug, R.M., Steinberg, J.T.: 2008, Solar Phys. 249, 85. doi: 10.1007/s11207-008-9161-4. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. Kahler, S.W.: 2010, In: Cranmer, S.R., Hoeksema, J.T., Kohl, J.L. (eds.) SOHO-23: Understanding a Peculiar Solar Minimum CS-428, Astron. Soc. Pac., San Francisco, 259. Google Scholar
  26. Kilpua, E.K.J., Jian, L.K., Li, Y., Luhmann, J.G., Russell, C.T.: 2010, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys. submitted. Google Scholar
  27. King, J.H., Papitashvilii, N.E.: 1994, Interplanetary Medium Data Book Supplement 5, 1988 – 1993, NASA NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S, 94-08, Greenbelt. Google Scholar
  28. King, J.H., Papitashvili, N.E.: 2005, J. Geophys. Res. 110, A02104. doi: 10.1029/2004JA010649. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kirk, M.S., Pesnell, W.D., Young, C.A., Hess Webber, S.A.: 2009, Solar Phys. 257, 99. doi: 10.1007/s11207-009-9369-y. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  30. Klein, L.W., Burlaga, L.F.: 1982, J. Geophys. Res. 87, 613. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  31. Kojima, M., Kakinuma, T.: 1987, J. Geophys. Res. 92, 7269. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  32. Lee, C.O., Luhmann, J.G., Zhao, X.P., Liu, Y., Riley, P., Arge, C.N., Russell, C.T., de Pater, I.: 2009, Solar Phys. 256, 345. doi: 10.1007/s11207-009-9345-6. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  33. Leibacher, J.W.: 1999, Adv. Space Res. 24, 173. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  34. Lepping, R.P., Jones, J.A., Burlaga, L.F.: 1990, J. Geophys. Res. 95, 11957. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  35. Lepping, R.P., Acũna, M.H., Burlaga, L.F., Farrell, W.M., Slavin, J.A., Schatten, K.H., Mariani, F., et al.: 1995, Space Sci. Rev. 71, 207. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  36. Lin, R.P., Anderson, K.A., Ashford, S., Carlson, C., Curtis, D., Ergun, R., Larson, D., et al.: 1995, Space Sci. Rev. 71, 125. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  37. Luhmann, J.G., Lee, C.O., Li, Y., Arge, C.N., Galvin, A.B., Simunac, K., Russell, C.T., et al.: 2009, Solar Phys. 256, 285. doi: 10.1007/s11207-009-09354-5. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  38. Manoharan, P.K.: 2009, In: Kosovichev, A.G., Andrei, A.H., Rozelot, J.-P. (eds.) Proc. IAU Symposium, Solar and Stellar Variability: Impact on Earth and Planets 24, 356. doi: 10.1017/S1743921309992912. Google Scholar
  39. Manoharan, P.K.: 2010, In: Corbett, I.F. (ed.) Highlights of Astronomy, 15, 484. doi: 10.1017/S1743921310010343. Google Scholar
  40. McComas, D.J., Bame, S.J., Barker, P., Feldman, W.C., Phillips, J.L., Riley, P., Griffee, J.W.: 1998, Space Sci. Rev. 86, 563. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  41. McComas, D.J., Ebert, R.W., Elliott, H.A., Goldstein, B.E., Gosling, J.T., Schwadron, N.A., Skoug, R.M.: 2008, Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L18103. doi: 10.1029/2008GL034896. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  42. McDonald, F.B., Webber, W.R., Reames, D.V.: 2010, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L18101. doi: 10.1029/2010GL044218. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  43. Mewaldt, R.A., Davis, A.J., Lave, K.A., Leske, R.A., Stone, E.C., Wiedenbeck, M.E., Binns, W.R., et al.: 2010, Astrophys. J. 723, L1. doi: 10.1088/2041-8205/723/1/L1. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  44. Murdin, P.: 2000, In: Murdin, P. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4331. doi: 10.1888/0333750888/4331. Google Scholar
  45. Ogilvie, K.W., Chornay, D.J., Fritzenreiter, R.J., Hunsaker, F., Keller, J., Lobell, J., Miller, G., et al.: 1995, Space Sci. Rev. 71, 55. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  46. Oh, S.Y., Yi, Y.: 2009, J. Geophys. Res. 114, A11102. doi: 10.1029/2009JA014190. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  47. Palmroth, M., Pulkkinen, T.I., Janhunen, P., McComas, D.J., Smith, C.W., Koskinen, H.E.J.: 2004, J. Geophys. Res. 109, A11302. doi: 10.1029/2004JA010529. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  48. Perreault, P., Akasofu, S.-I.: 1978, Geophys. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. 54, 547. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Richardson, I.G., Cane, H.V.: 2010, Solar Phys. 264, 189. doi: 10.1007/s11207-010-9568-6. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  50. Riley, P., Schatzman, C., Cane, H.V., Richardson, I.G., Gopalswamy, N.: 2006, Astrophys. J. 647, 648. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  51. Rosenberg, R.L., Coleman, P.J. Jr.: 1969, J. Geophys. Res. 74(24), 5611. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  52. Russell, C.T., Shinde, A.A., Jian, L.: 2005, Adv. Space Res. 35, 2178. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  53. Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Jian, L.K.: 2010, Rev. Geophys. 48, RG2004. doi: 10.1029/2009RG000316. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  54. Schatten, K.H., Wilcox, J.M., Ness, N.F.: 1969, Solar Phys. 6, 442. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  55. Sheeley, N.R. Jr.: 2010, In: Cranmer, S.R., Hoeksema, J.T., Kohl, J.L. (eds.) SOHO-23: Understanding a Peculiar Solar Minimum CS-428, Astron. Soc. Pac., San Francisco, 3. Google Scholar
  56. Smith, C.W., L’Heureux, J., Ness, N.F., Acuña, M.H., Burlaga, L.F., Scheifele, J.: 1998, Space Sci. Rev. 86, 613. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  57. Smith, E.J., Balogh, A.: 2008, Geophys. Res. Lett. 35. doi: 10.1029/2008GL035345.
  58. Svalgaard, L., Duvall, T.L. Jr., Scherrer, P.H.: 1978, Solar Phys. 58, 225. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  59. Tokumaru, M., Kojima, M., Fujiki, K.: 2010, J. Geophys. Res. 115, A04102. doi: 10.1029/2009JA014628. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tokumaru, M., Kojima, M., Fujiki, K., Hayashi, K.: 2009, Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L09101. doi: 10.1029/2009GL037461. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ulrich, R.K., Evans, S., Boyden, J.E., Webster, L.: 2002, Astrophys. J. Suppl. 139, 259. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang, Y.-M., Sheeley, N.R. Jr.: 2003, Astrophys. J. 591, 1248. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  63. Wang, Y.-M., Robbrecht, E., Rouillard, A.P., Sheeley, N.R. Jr., Thernisien, A.F.R.: 2010, Astrophys. J. 715, 39. doi: 10.1088/004-637X/715/1/39. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  64. Zhang, T.L., Delva, M., Baumjohann, W., Auster, H.U., Carr, C., Russell, C.T., Barabash, S., et al.: 2007, Nature 450, 654. doi: 10.1038/nature06026. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  65. Zurbuchen, T.H., Richardson, I.G.: 2006, Space Sci. Rev. 123, 31. doi: 10.1007/s11214-006-9010-4. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Space Science LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations