Evening of March 1 in the magnetosphere of the Earth began a major disturbances associated with the entry of the world in high-speed hot solar wind. The first changes in the environment of the interplanetary plasma were reported March 1 at 9 am Moscow time: within two hours of the solar wind speed in the vicinity of the Earth has increased from 300 to 400 km / sec, and its temperature has increased almost five-fold, from 20 to 100 thousands of degrees. Around 16 pm Moscow time began the second surge, accompanied by a further increase in the temperature and velocity. At the end of day on March 1 solar wind speed reached 500 km / sec, and the temperature was recorded at 300 thousand degrees. According to the measurements of the planetary geomagnetic index, obtained by the averaged data from nine ground-based observatories, the perturbations of the global magnetic field of the Earth from 16 am Moscow time began to be classified as a magnetic storm, which by the end of the day reached a level 2 on a scale adopted. The total duration of the magnetic storm at the end of the day was about 9:00.
Left — the image of the corona of the Sun March 1, 2011 according to satellite SDO (USA). Right — the measurements of temperature, velocity and density of the plasma near the Earth's orbit by satellite data ACE (USA).
The total length of the zone of high-speed wind is estimated to be very big — Sun now throws a plasma with high temperature and velocity in the sector with a solution of more than 90 degrees, that is, in areas covered by more than a quarter in the solar system. The complete intersection of the flow of our planet will take at least 7-8 days. According to measurements the satellite STEREO-B (USA), taking the measurements at a distance of about 200 million km from the Earth, the center of high-speed flow is approximately three days of the "path" of the current position of the Earth and has a temperature of about 1 million degrees and the velocity of the matter — to 800 km / sec. To go through this high land in the middle of the day to March 4 (all this time, the temperature and speed of ambient interplanetary plasma will rise), and then begin a slow decline parameters, and geomagnetic situation may be able to finally stabilize. Back in the undisturbed region of interplanetary space to the Earth on March 7-8.
Despite the very wide high-speed flow, the duration of the most intense phase of geomagnetic disturbances should not be likely to exceed 12-15 hours. The strongest "beats" the Earth's magnetosphere are observed, as a rule, only the first day after hitting the Earth in high flow, when the magnetic field of the planet, suddenly derived from steady state begins to waver in search of a new equilibrium point. After that, if the parameters of the ambient interplanetary gas grow quite slowly, the earth's magnetic field has time to adapt to them without any disturbances. Accurate prediction of the structure of geomagnetic disturbances in the next 7 days to give, however, is difficult, as it is highly dependent on the internal structure of the high-speed flow. If it is found sharp differences of velocity and temperature, the passage of the Earth through the interface of such regions can be accompanied by additional disturbances.
Laboratory of X-ray astronomy of the Sun (FIA
Ejection of plasma on the sun sparked the beginning of the magnetic storm on Earth.
This is confirmed by the data published on the website of Space Weather Center American Meteorological Office NOAA.
Currently, the index Kp, characterizing the geomagnetic activity has reached a value of 6. This scale has 10 levels, from 0 to 3 are the quiet magnetosphere, level 4 — perturbed, and the levels of 5 to 9 — magnetic storms five classes, transfers RIA "Novosti".
"In the sun for about three days ago, there were two small coronal holes — areas with high speed solar wind and the open magnetic field. In addition, there is an emission of the solar plasma. That they "flew" from now to the Earth's magnetosphere "- said the head of the Center of Space Weather forecasts the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN) Sergei Gaidash.
According to him, a magnetic storm with the index Kp = 6 can be described as a storm of moderate strength. Serious disturbance of the magnetosphere in the near future is not expected, but can occur on March 3 and more powerful storm.
"Next is expected to continue the banquet: March 3, will surely be a magnetic storm," — said the source.
In 2000, there were 12 in the world of higher magnetic storms, the fifth level, which led to the failure of power grids, radio blackouts and auroras observed up to the equator. The last storm of the fifth level was on September 11, 2005. In recent years, the sun was in a phase of a long record of minimum activity and now solar activity is slowly increasing.