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Magnetohydrodynamic modelling of interplanetary disturbances between the Sun and Earth

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Abstract

A time-dependent, nonplanar, two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic computer model is used to simulate a series, separately examined, of solar flare-generated shock waves and their subsequent disturbances in interplanetary space between the Sun and the Earth's magnetosphere. The ‘canonical’ or ansatz series of shock waves include initial velocities near the Sun over the range 500 to 3500 km s−1. The ambient solar wind, through which they propagate, is taken to be a steady-state homogeneous plasma (that is, independent of heliolongitude) with a representative set of plasma and magnetic field parameters. Complete sets of solar wind plasma and magnetic field parameters are presented and discussed.

Particular attention is addressed to the MHD model's ability to address fundamental operational questions vis-à-vis the long-range forecasting of geomagnetic disturbances. These questions are: (i) will a disturbance (such as the present canonical series of solar flare shock waves) produce a magnetospheric and ionospheric disturbance, and, if so, (ii) when will it start, (iii) how severe will it be, and (iv) how long will it last? The model's output is used to compute various solar wind indices of current interest as a demonstration of the model's potential for providing ‘answers’ to these questions.

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Dryer, M., Wu, S.T., Gislason, G. et al. Magnetohydrodynamic modelling of interplanetary disturbances between the Sun and Earth. Astrophys Space Sci 105, 187–208 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00651218

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00651218

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