Space Weather Energy Pathways and Implications for Impacts

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The terrestrial magnetosphere extracts energy from the dynamic solar wind, which propagates throughout the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere (MIT) system and is mediated by it. For certain conditions, large quantities of energy are deposited in specific regions of the system, leading to generally adverse space weather impacts on societal  infrastructures. These impacts include hazardous levels of relativistic radiation belt electrons, strong geomagnetically induced currents, highly enhanced thermospheric heating, and extreme ionospheric precipitation. These different space weather concerns demonstrate that certain solar wind properties can have wide-varying impacts, although how they relate to each other is not yet fully understood. Does extreme solar wind energy input necessarily create all these hazards? Or do different solar wind structures favour one hazard over another? What solar wind conditions would provide the ‘perfect storm’ or Doomsday scenario?

In this meeting we aim to address and understand the key factors in controlling the propagation of energy in the coupled magnetosphere - ionosphere - thermosphere system. The meeting will bring together observational, modelling, and machine learning results, to understand how solar wind energy is partitioned within the MIT system and how this varies with the quantity of energy, type of solar wind driving, and pre-existing magnetospheric conditions. The afternoon session will include an open discussion focused specifically on the September 2017 geomagnetic storm and the multiple associated Space Weather impacts as a case study, and explore how this event informs our understanding of Space Weather energy pathways.

Abstract submission closes on Friday 13 November and abstracts can be submitted here:


Jasmine Kaur Sandhu (Northumbria University)

Andy Smith (MSSL)

Mervyn P. Freeman (BAS)


More information to follow

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