Significant Solar Storm 6th March

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Carbon60
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Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:34 pm

This was one of those 'wow' moments, when my magnetometer here in the UK went wild in the late hours of March 6th indicating that a significantly geoeffective solar storm was in progress. The culprit was a fast flowing solar wind stream and southerly interplanetary magnetic field carried by plasma crossing the void of space between the Sun and Earth and linking up with our own magnetic field.

The result was a planetary Kp7 storm and bright aurora over high and mid latitudes, including over the UK and much of northern Europe. Here are my magnetometer data showing the whole event from start to finish.
20160307_Kp7 Geomagnetic Storm.jpg
20160307_Kp7 Geomagnetic Storm.jpg (125.8 KiB) Viewed 1726 times
And the 'rate of change'.
20160307_Kp7 Rate of Change.jpg
20160307_Kp7 Rate of Change.jpg (126.02 KiB) Viewed 1726 times
Thanks for looking.

Stu.
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

Derek Klepp
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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Derek Klepp » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:53 pm

Thanks Stu should be some good Aorora pics coming through

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by marktownley » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:23 pm

A good record there Stu!
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http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by grimble_cornet » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:42 am

Great trace Stu!
.

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Selection of Solar and Deep Sky images on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegarbett/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Montana » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:37 pm

Fantastic catch Stu :bow :bow :hamster:

Sadly it was cloudy, and I had to go to bed early ready for work the next day :(

Alexandra

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:39 pm

Many thanks, Derek, Mark, Mike and Alexandra.

Mike. I don't know if your magnetometer is still up and running, but you might want to change the filter value in the spread sheet (cell H4) from the default value to maybe 25-35 in order to enable the chart to display the magnetic perturbations properly. The filter normally is required to eliminate spurious events (odd spikes), but given the significant rates of change resulting from this event the filter is instead removing valuable data at its default value. You'll see what I mean if you make the change. I'd revert back to the default value for the more minor storms that we normally get, given that the data can be a little spikey otherwise.

Stu.
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Montana » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:01 am

Well done on Spaceweather :movie :hamster: :hamster: :hamster:

Alexandra

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by marktownley » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:21 am

Woohoo! Yes, well cool :seesaw
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http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:37 pm

Many thanks, Alexandra/Mark.

It was a huge surprise this morning when I turned to Spaceweather.com for my morning fix and saw my chart in full view. :D

Cheers

Stu
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by grimble_cornet » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:56 pm

Thanks Stu - I'll check that out.
Also.... congrats on the Spaceweather showing!
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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by p_zetner » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:55 pm

Terrific capture, Stu!

That oscillatory behaviour at the peak is intriguing. Any idea of the physical origin?
Is it worth doing a Fourier analysis to check the frequency spectrum? I'd be happy to do it if you send me the data.

Cheers.
Peter.

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:40 pm

Thanks Mike/Peter.

Peter, it's an interesting thought. I could send you the data, no problem. Basically it's just a CSV file of time vs frequency, or I could send it as an excel file.

As for the physical origin, the interplanetary magnetic field, as measured by ACE and presented by NOAA, showed wild swings between north and south polarity over the duration of the storm, presumably imprinted within the solar plasma as it swept by. Interestingly there were no large coronal holes in the preceding days to account for the increasing effects of the solar wind, but Earth did pass through a CIR (Co-rotating Interaction Region) on March 6th, which is a bit of a coincidence, although Earth regularly passes through such regions with barely a glitch, so I'm not sure what really gave such power to this event.

For information, here are the ACE data for the last 7 days which show the tremendous surge on the 6th-7th.
20160307_Kp7 NOAA ACE Data.jpg
Thanks for your interest.

Stu.
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by p_zetner » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:24 pm

Hi Stu.

I don't know if this is completely relevant but I came across a manuscript;
http://real.mtak.hu/27659/1/nakariakov_ ... es_rev.pdf
which made the following statements about the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere:

"There is a possibility for the magnetosphere to oscillate wholly (or partially) as a collective cavity mode. Owing to this, the magnetosphere should behave as a kind of an MHD Fabry Perot resonator, absorbing the energy from the turbulent solar wind most effectively at the frequencies prescribed by the parameters of the cavity."

(I thought the Fabry Perot resonator was a pretty nifty analogy considering the nature of this forum!)

"Multi-harmonic signals with very stable frequencies (about 1 mHz, 1.3 mHz, 2.2 mHz, 2.6 mHz) called the 'magic frequencies' are often observed at high latitudes. The magic frequencies were interpreted as supporting evidence for the existence of the magnetospheric cavity mode resonance."

I wonder if the "magic frequencies" might be present in your data. The primary oscillation frequency looks to be about 1 mHz.

Cheers.
Peter.

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:55 pm

Very interesting, Peter. Would you prefer the data in excel format?

BTW, I've now converted the data into sound using MIDI to create a solar wind sound. Maybe more art than science, but hopefully interesting nevertheless.

ImageSolar Storm 20160306 by Stuart Green, on Flickr

Stu.
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by p_zetner » Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:06 am

Hi Stu.
I think either the csv format data or the excel file would work for me. You could pm me and I'll give you my email address.
Peter.

Oh ... on 2nd thought ... I'll pm you with my email address!
Can you send rate of change data as well?
BTW How do you produce the rate of change data? Do you numerically differentiate?

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by p_zetner » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:20 pm

Hi Stu.

Here is some spectral analysis of your March 6 data:
Stuart Green Data FFT 2016Mar06.jpg
There's obviously a predominant peak at 0.41mHz with, possibly, three more peaks at the indicated frequencies. You have to take the identification of the three subsidiary peaks as somewhat tentative as I've identified them using a highly smoothed version of the raw FFT data. This technique can be a little unreliable because the smoothing can generate spurious peaks in scattered data. I tried multiple peak fitting but with no luck. What's interesting is that the observation correlates with findings published in the literature. For example, the paper:

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 29, NO. 8, 1197, 10.1029/2001GL014405, 2002
ULF waves in the solar wind as direct drivers of magnetospheric pulsations.
L. Kepko and H. E. Spence, H. J. Singer

http://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent ... ics_facpub

An extract: "Global magnetospheric ULF pulsations with frequencies in the Pc 5 range ( f = 1.7–6.7 mHz) and below have been observed for decades in space and on the Earth. Recent work has shown that in some cases these pulsations appear at discrete frequencies. Global cavity and waveguide modes have been offered as possible sources of such waves. In these models the magnetosphere is presumed to resonate globally at frequencies determined solely by its internal properties such as size, shape, field topology, mass density distribution, etc. We show in this work that upstream solar wind number density and dynamic pressure variations precede and drive compressional magnetic field variations at geosynchronous orbit. Furthermore, spectral analysis shows that wave power spectra in both the solar wind and magnetosphere contain peaks at the same discrete frequencies. Therefore, in contrast to the cavity mode hypothesis, we suggest that discrete ULF pulsations observed within the magnetosphere are at least sometimes directly driven by density oscillations present in the ambient solar wind.

... possibility is that the frequencies are the result of solar oscillations. ... The p modes of the sun are in the range of 1–5 mHz, the same interval as the waves reported in this paper. Though relating terrestrial ULF pulsations to solar oscillations is an intriguing possibility, subsequent work addressing whether the solar wind contains imprints of solar modes has yielded conflicting results ... and the issue remains unresolved."

Here are two of the paper's figures reproduced:
Kepko paper figs.jpg
You can see a general 4-peaked structure in the frequency spectrum as shown in your data.

I think it's interesting that the pulsations you're observing might be directly attributable to solar wind density variations which, themselves are driven by the oscillation of the Sun!

Cheers.
Peter.

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by Carbon60 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:05 am

Many thanks, Peter.

This is really interesting and it somewhat justifies my process of converting terrestrial magnetic data into solar wind sounds. There does appear to be a correlation between the two. A better understanding of the true relationship would likely come from the availability of more space based data, as information about the true structure and dynamics of the inhomogeneous interplanetary solar wind over the expanse of our planet surely cannot be inferred from so few satellites.

Again, thanks for this and your interest in my data.

Regards

Stu.
Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

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Re: Significant Solar Storm 6th March

Post by p_zetner » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:51 pm

Cheers, Stu.

I enjoyed playing with the data!

Peter.

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