Effects of Interplanetary Shock Inclinations on Nightside Auroral Power Intensity

Academic Article


  • We derive fast forward interplanetary (IP) shock speeds and impact angles to study the geoeffectivness of 461 IP shocks that occurred from January 1995 to December 2013 using ACE and WIND spacecraft data. The geomagnetic activity is inferred from the SuperMAG project data. SuperMAG is a large chain which employs more than 300 ground stations to compute enhanced versions of the traditional geomagnetic indices. The SuperMAG auroral electroject SME index, an enhanced version of the traditional AE index, is used as an auroral power (AP) indicator. AP intensity jumps triggered by shock impacts are correlated with both shock speed and impact angle. It is found that high AP intensity events typically occur when high speed IP shocks impact the Earths magnetosphere with the shock normal almost parallel to the Sun-Earth line. This result suggests that symmetric and strong magnetospheric compression leads to favorable conditions for intense auroral power release, as shown previously by simulations and observations. Some potential mechanisms will be discussed.
  • Authors

  • Oliveira, DM
  • Raeder, Joachim
  • Tsurutani, BT
  • Gjerloev, JW
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 2016
  • Published In


  • Ionosphere-magnetosphere interaction
  • Plasma physics
  • Space physics
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 97
  • End Page

  • 104
  • Volume

  • 46
  • Issue

  • 1