Signatures of the Solar Transient Disturbances Over the Low Latitude Ionosphere During 6 to 8 September 2017


Low latitude ionospheric behavior during solar transient disturbances of solar flares and storm time penetrating electric fields comprises an important part of the Earth\textquoterights space weather. The flares enhance the electron density of the sunlit ionosphere by supplying excess solar radiation. However, the degree of these density changes is subjective if a geomagnetic storm persists simultaneously. The present case study addresses the ionospheric variations over the Indian longitudes under the combined effects of the solar flares and a geomagnetic storm during 6 to 8 September 2017 and probably the first of its kind in delineating the effects of these two over the low latitude ionosphere. The X9.3 class flare of 6 September, which occurred during non-storm conditions, produced an intense E region ionization (~500\% over the ambient). However, the total electron content response to this flare was comparatively weak. The flares on 7 and 8 September occurred during the 7\textendash8 September geomagnetic storm. Though the 8 September flare occurred with higher intensity (M8.1) and early in local time compared to the flare of 7 September (M7.3), the equatorial electrojet current enhancement was lesser on 8 September (~75\% over the ambient) than that of 7 September (~110\% over the ambient). This aspect is discussed in view of the storm time convection effects over the low latitudes during 7\textendash8 September storm. The total electron content did not respond to the flares of 7 and 8 September. This behavior is attributed to the varying center-to-limb distance of the solar active region 12673 during this period.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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