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Outline. How do we define space weather? How do we observe it? What drives it (solar activity and solar phenomena)? Which are the impacts on: the atmosphere and technological sysytems? How can we forecast it? What service exist? Today’s space weather. The Sun. Diameter:

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  • How do we define space weather?

  • How do we observe it?

  • What drives it (solar activity and solar phenomena)?

  • Which are the impacts on:

    the atmosphere and technological sysytems?

  • How can we forecast it?

  • What service exist?

  • Today’s space weather.

The Sun


1 390 000 km

(109 x Earth)


1.99x1030 kg

(330 000 x Earth)


Core 151x103 kg/m-3

Average 1.41x103 kg/m-3

The Sun consits of:

H (≈ 90%)

Helium (≈ 10%)

C,N,O ( ≈ 0.1%)


Core 15 million

Photosphere 5800 K

Chromosphere 4300-104K

Corona 1-30 million K

4 protons --> He + 2 positrons + 2 neutrinos + 2 fotons (26.2 MeV)

When the solar magnetic field emerges thru the solar suface sunspots appear



Solar flare

The chromosphere in H-alpha


The solar corona seen at solar eclipses

The heating of the solar corona

Coronal mass ejections

CMEs cause the most severe space weather effects

  • Halo CMEs are most geoeffective

  • Mass: 5-50 billion tons

  • Frequency: 3.5/day (max), 0.2/day (min)

  • Speed: 200-2000 km/s

Solar flares and sun quakes

The solar wind

  • Predicted from comet studies in 1940 ties

  • Theoretically predicted by Parker 1959

  • Measusred in situ 1960

The source of the fast solar wind

Solar wind

Typical values

V: 450km/s

N: 5particles/cm3

T: 105 K

B: 5nT

The solar wind consists

of protons,

electrons and

3-4% alpha particles

Computation of the coronal magnetic field

Daily observations of the solar photospheric magnetic field at WSO are used for computation of the coronal magnetic field according to the ”potential field


Computed Br at R=2.5Rs

The heliospheric current sheet

The solar wind

Fast halo CME with

solar flares and

solar proton events

Fast continuous solar wind from

coronal holes

Heliospheric current sheet

The solar wind Bz, V, and n determine

the effect of the solar plasma.

Earth’s response

  • Geomagnetic disturbances

  • Aurora

  • Ionospheric disturbances

  • Climate and weather changes

Earth’s magnetosphere and current systems

Geomagnetic storms

Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere

Aurora oval

Aurora during severe solar storms

Aurora was observed in Italy 6-7 April and on July 15-16, 2000!

The aurora observed in


Space weather effects on technological systems

Satellite anomalies

Satellite anomalies of July 14-16, 2000 event

The proton event caused

problems for ACE,

SOHO, Ørsted,

Japanese X-ray satellite,

star trackers on board

commercial satellites.

Proton flux (pfu) > 10 MeV,

24000 pfu (July 15, 12.30 UT). Third largest!

Largest 43 000 pfu, (March 24, 1991). Second 40 000 pfu

(October 20, 1989).

Solar proton events are dangerous to man in space


Between Apollo 16 and 17 a proton

event occurred, which should have

been deadly to the astronautes within

10 hours (i.e. above 4000 mSv).

Radiation risks and aviation

The radiation exposure is doubled every 2.2 km.

Solar flares can increase the radiation by 20-30 times.

Pilots get cancer more often than average.

The intensive solar flare of

April 2, 2001, which caused

major communication problems

also made Continental

Airlines to change

their route between

Hong Kong and New York.

New EU law:

Pregnant (aircrew) should

not be exposed to more

than 1 (1-6) millisievert/year

Power systems are effected at times of geomagnetic storms

This severe electrojet caused the failure of Quebec’s power system March 13-14, 1989.

A transformer damaged

in Main USA.

One of the generators of OKG’s (Sydkraft’s) nuclear plants was heated due to the geomagnetically induced current in March 13-14 1989.

Workshops arranged by us

Workshops on ”Artificial Intelligence Applications in

Solar-Terrestrial Physics” were held in Lund 1993

and 1997.

Artificial neural networks

The basic element of every ANN is an artificial neuron or

simply a neuron (which is an abstract model of a

biological neuron (nerve cell)).

Download Lund Dst model in Java and Matlab

The ARMA filter is obtained by adding auto-regressive terms to a MA filter.The partial recurrent network (Elman) becomes identical to a linear ARMA filter if it is assigned linear activations functions.

Our scientific approach

Real-time test of Dst forecasts

Test Dst forecasts




Real-time forecasts and warnings based on KBN

Solar input data

Solar observations with SOHO make warnings 1-3

days ahead possible.

Solar wind observations with ACE make accurate forecasts 1-3 hours ahead possible.

ESA/Lund Space Weather Forecast Service Package

Near and farside solar activity from MDI/SOHO observations

Latest information on arrival of halo CME at L1

Latest info on forecasts of satellite anomalies (SAAPS)

Latest information on forecasts of Kp, Dst, AE and GIC

Our GIC Pilot ProjectAn application at implementation stage

Today general forecast service is given by RWCs within ISES

ISES Director: D. Boteler

Deputy Director: H. Lundstedt

Secr. for World days: H. Coffey

Secr. Space Weather: J. Kunches

WWW for Satellites: J. King

RWC - SwedenISES

The October 14 -November 6 events:It all started with no sunspots

  • No sunspots (R=24)

  • Aurora observed in

    Southern Sweden

    (Gothenburg, Lund)

  • Media got interested

  • SOHO/MDI far side

    images had told me

    Large ARs were to come

Many radio and newspaper interviews followed and AR 484 entered

Then came the AR 486, October 28 event

  • Even more interviews

  • Warnings and reports were sent to

    power industry

  • Discussions with power operators

Power outage in Malmö

Power Outage in Southern Sweden, October 30, 2003

Rz spectral

density LF

20-128 days.

Stora AR


The power failure got enormous media attention in Sweden

Every TV, radio station

and newspaper

had something

And then ….X28 solar flare on November 4!!

Active Regions 484/486/488 one rotation later

Today’s Space Weather

Where to learn more?www.lund.irf.se


Part 2


I am grateful to the following providers of images and animations;


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