Top-side ionosphere response to extreme solar events
- 1Institute of Space Science, National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan
- 2Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
- 3Space Research Institute (IKI) Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Abstract. Strong X-flares and solar energetic particle (SEP) fluxes are considered as sources of topside ionospheric disturbances observed by the ROCSAT-1/IPEI instrument during the Bastille Day event on 14 July 2000 and the Halloween event on 28 October–4 November 2003. It was found that within a prestorm period in the dayside ionosphere at altitudes of ~600 km the ion density increased up to ~80% in response to flare-associated enhancements of the solar X-ray emission. Ionospheric response to the SEP events was revealed both at sunlit and nightside hemispheres, where the ion density increased up to ~40% and 100%, respectively. We did not find any prominent response of the ion temperature to the X-ray and SEP enhancements. The largest X-ray and SEP impacts were found for the X17 solar flare on 28 October 2003, which was characterized by the most intense fluxes of solar EUV (Tsurutani et al., 2005) and relativistic solar particles (Veselovsky et al., 2004). Solar events on 14 July 2000 and 29 October 2003 demonstrate weaker impacts with respect to their X-ray and SEP intensities. The weakest ionospheric response is observed for the limb X28 solar flare on 4 November 2003. The topside ionosphere response to the extreme solar events is interpreted in terms of the short-duration impact of the solar electromagnetic radiation and the long-lasting impact of the SEP.