Use of Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Monitors to Detect Coronal Mass Ejections
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The purpose of this research is to study the effect of Earth directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the ionosphere in 2011, and to see if sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID) monitors could be used to predict whether a CME was geoeffective. A CME is a cloud of highly energized particles ejected from the Sun. It is hypothesized that a strong CME will affect the ionosphere, and this might be observed in certain data sets. Data was taken from two SID monitors in Vienna receiving transmissions from Norway and France from February through July, 2011. This data was then analyzed relative to the kinetic energy of Earth directed CMEs that occurred during the same time period. The Earth directed CME data was taken from the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) device on NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). A correlation was found between CME kinetic energy and SID energy, with the maximum correlation at a 6 day lag of the SID data. The 6 day delay accounts for the travel time for the CME to reach Earth. Though the impact of the CME on the ionosphere was observed retrospectively, the research indicates that CMEs may be identified using SID monitors alone.