Brazilian Journal of Physics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 97–104 | Cite as

Effects of Interplanetary Shock Inclinations on Nightside Auroral Power Intensity

  • D. M. Oliveira
  • J. Raeder
  • B. T. Tsurutani
  • J. W. Gjerloev
General and Applied Physics


We derive fast forward interplanetary (IP) shock speeds and impact angles to study the geoeffectiveness of 461 IP shocks that occurred from January 1995 to December 2013 using ACE and Wind spacecraft data. The geomagnetic activity is inferred from the SuperMAG project data. SuperMAG is a large chain which employs more than 300 ground stations to compute enhanced versions of the traditional geomagnetic indices. The SuperMAG auroral electroject SME index, an enhanced version of the traditional AE index, is used as an auroral power (AP) indicator. AP intensity jumps triggered by shock impacts are correlated with both shock speed and impact angle. It is found that high AP intensity events typically occur when high speed IP shocks impact the Earth’s magnetosphere with the shock normal almost parallel to the Sun-Earth line. This result suggests that symmetric and strong magnetospheric compression leads to favorable conditions for intense auroral power release, as shown previously by simulations and observations. Some potential mechanisms will be discussed.


Space physics Ionosphere-magnetosphere interaction Plasma physics 



This work was supported by grant AGS-1143895 from the National Science Foundation and grant FA-9550-120264 from the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research. We thank the Wind and ACE teams for the solar wind data and CDAWeb interface for data availability. We thank Dr. C. W. Smith, the ACE team, and Dr. J. C. Kasper for their list compilations. For the ground magnetometer data, we gratefully acknowledge: Intermagnet; USGS, Jeffrey J. Love; CARISMA, PI Ian Mann; CANMOS; The S-RAMP Database, PI K. Yumoto and Dr. K. Shiokawa; The SPIDR database; AARI, PI Oleg Troshichev; The MACCS program, PI M. Engebretson, Geomagnetism Unit of the Geological Survey of Canada; GIMA; MEASURE, UCLA IGPP and Florida Institute of Technology; SAMBA, PI Eftyhia Zesta; 210 Chain, PI K. Yumoto; SAMNET, PI Farideh Honary; The institutes who maintain the IMAGE magnetometer array, PI Eija Tanskanen; PENGUIN; AUTUMN, PI Martin Conners; DTU Space, PI Dr. J¨urgen Matzka; South Pole and McMurdo Magnetometer, PI’s Louis J. Lanzarotti and Alan T. Weatherwax; ICESTAR; RAPIDMAG; PENGUIn; British Artarctic Survey; McMac, PI Dr. Peter Chi; BGS, PI Dr. Susan Macmillan; Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN); GFZ, PI Dr. J¨urgen Matzka; MFGI, PI B. Heilig; IGFPAS, PI J. Reda; University of L’Aquila, PI M. Vellante; SuperMAG, PI Jesper W. Gjerloev. D.M.O. thanks the SuperMAG PI J. W. Gjerloev for the straightforward SuperMAG website for its convenience of data visualization and download.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Brasileira de Física 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Raeder
    • 3
  • B. T. Tsurutani
    • 4
  • J. W. Gjerloev
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  2. 2.Goddard Planetary Heliophysics InstituteUniversity of Maryland Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.EOS Space Science Center and Department of PhysicsUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  5. 5.Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryLaurelUSA
  6. 6.Birkeland Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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