A Complete Catalogue of High-Speed Solar Wind Streams during Solar Cycle 23
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High-speed solar wind streams (HSSWSs) are ejected from the Sun and travel into the interplanetary space. Because of their high speed, they carry out energetic particles such as protons and heavy ions, which leads to an increase in the mean interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Since the Earth is in the path of those streams, Earth’s magnetosphere interacts with the disturbed magnetic field, leading to a significant radiation-induced degradation of technological systems. These interactions provide an enhanced energy transfer from the solar wind/IMF system into the Earth’s magnetosphere and initiate geomagnetic disturbances that may have a possible impact on human health. Solar cycle 23 was a particularly unusual cycle with many energetic phenomena during its descending phase and also had an extended minimum. We have identified and catalogued the HSSWSs of this cycle and determined their characteristics, such as their maximum velocity, beginning and ending time, duration, and possible sources. We identified 710 HSSWSs and compared them with the corresponding characteristics of the streams of previous solar cycles. For first time, we used the CME data to study the stream sources, which led to useful results for the monitoring and forecasting of space weather effects.
KeywordsCoronal holes Coronal mass ejections High speed solar wind streams Solar flares
Thanks are due to all colleagues who kindly provide all the solar and interplanetary data used in this work. We also acknowledge the Special Research Account of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, for supporting G. Xystouris to present this work in the Space Weather Effects on Humans Conference held in Moscow (3 – 7 June 2012). Moreover, we thank A. Hillaris for useful discussions.
- Mavromichalaki, H., Vassilaki, A., Tsagouri, I.: 1997, Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting (JENAM-97), Abstract 83. Google Scholar