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Space Weather Events of 4-10 September 2017

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Last updated:
14 February 2018

The editors of Space Weather are organizing a special collection to highlight the strong-to-severe space weather of  4-10 September 2017.  This interval is covered by, perhaps, the best set of heliospheric and space weather instruments ever to witness a significant event.

Manuscripts are due by 1 May 2018

We call for papers that address the heliospheric and geospace disturbances,  and highlight how ground- and space-based instrumentation, combined with improved models allow us to understand the origin, dynamics and consequences of these storms.  We are particularly interested in “effects and impacts” papers, as there have been a number of media reports that HF radio blackouts caused by the X-flares disrupted emergency communications vital to recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma. We also welcome papers that assess the importance of these impacts and any other practical impacts arising from the space weather events in early September 2017.  Additionally, we encourage papers that address the direction, propagation and arrival time of the heliospheric structures (shock, sheath and/or core) that led to periods of forecast and/or observed strong southward Bz.

This interval was one of the most flare-productive periods of now-waning solar cycle 24.  Solar active regions (AR) 2673 and 2674  both matured to  complex magnetic configurations as they transited the disk.  AR2673 transformed from a simple sunspot on 2 September to a complex region with order-of-magnitude growth on 4 September,  rapidly reaching beta-gamma-delta  configuration.  In subsequent days the region issued three X-class flares and multiple partial halo ejecta.  Combined, the two active regions produced more than a dozen M-class flares.   As a parting shot AR2673 produced: 1) an X-9 level flare; 2) an associated moderate solar energetic particle event ;and 3) a ground level event, as it arrived at the solar west limb on 10 September.   From 4 -16 September the radiation environment at geosynchronous orbit was at minor storm level and 100 MeV protons were episodically present in geostationary orbit during that time frame.  The early arrival of the coronal mass ejection associated with the 6 September X-9 flare produced severe geomagnetic storming on 7 and 8 September.  The full set of events was bracketed by high speed streams that produced their own minor-to-moderate geomagnetic storming.

Low Earth Orbit Satellite Drag: Science and Operational Impact

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
A NASA LWS (Living With a Star program) Institute on “Nowcast of Atmospheric Drag for LEO Spacecraft” was established in 2015. The institute charter was to (a) review the current status of atmospheric drag research, (b) review operational concerns for LEO satellites, (c) identify and understand the major issues in atmospheric drag estimation and prediction, and (d) provide recommendations to improve our ability to make accurate drag nowcasts/forecasts that meet operational requirements. The institute included scientists and members of the satellite operation community from around the world. The institute had two meetings in 2016 and identified key issues LEO satellite drag and its variations: changes in neutrals (density, composition, and wind) arising from space weather conditions (solar energy inputs including solar radiation, solar wind, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes, as well as energy from the lower atmosphere).  This special collection will include contributions from the institute members and the community.  

The Communications/Navigation Forecasting System: A Next Step in Space Weather

1 December 2005
The two feature articles describe convective ionospheric storms and the C/NOFS program. Two technical articles give details concerning the assimilative model and a comparison of satellite and airglow observations with the ROCSAT satellite, respectively.

The Earth-Moon-Mars Radiation Environment Module

1 September 2011
N. Schwadron
The United States is preparing to return humans to the Moon and setting the stage for exploration to Mars and beyond. However, it is unclear if long missions outside of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) can be accomplished with acceptable risk. The central objective of the NASA Living With a Star (LWS) Earth-Moon-Mars Radiation Environment Module (EMMREM) is to develop and validate a numerical module for completely characterizing time- dependent radiation exposure in the Earth-Moon-Mars and Interplanetary space environments. The papers in this special issue of Space Weather introduce the EMMREM project, and provide a baseline for current understanding of the space environment beyond Earth's protective atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Initial Results from the NASA Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X) Balloon Flight Mission

1 December 2016
The NASA Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X) high-altitude balloon mission was successfully launched from Fort Sumner, New Mexico on 25 September, 2015. Over 20 hours of science data were obtained from four dosimeters at altitudes above 20 km. One of the main goals of the RaD-X mission is to improve aviation radiation models. The high-altitude balloon flight data provide measurements for assessing how well aviation radiation models characterize the source of secondary particles which dominate radiation exposure at commercial flight altitudes. The second goal of the RaD-X mission is to facilitate the pathway toward real-time, data assimilative predictions of aviation radiation exposure by identifying and characterizing low-cost, compact radiation detectors. The RaD-X campaign was also supported by ground-based calibration measurements, radiation dose measurements taken on an ER-2 aircraft flown out of NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and dosimeter measurements onboard a King Air C90 aircraft operated by the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility at Fort Sumner. This collection of papers report the dosimeter measurements and initial findings from the RaD-X flight campaign.   

NASA's Living With a Star: Geomagnetically Induced Currents

6 July 2017
Some problems are too big for one scientist to solve--or even one type of scientist.  NASA's Living With a Star Program is experimenting with a series of interdisciplinary Working Groups (also known as LWS Institutes) that tackle some of the thorniest problems in heliophysics. 

This special section reports findings of the first, Working Group on geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) convened to help predict and prevent power outages caused by extreme geomagnetic storms.  

The Arctic: An AGU Joint Special Collection

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Last updated:
8 February 2018
The Arctic has become the focus of many new investigations and studies across a number of disciplines. In many cases, this research is integrating diverse new data sets, observations, and modeling, and making connections among and across the biosphere, oceans, atmospheres, space, and geophysical environments. These papers include historical and new research on the Arctic and represent the following AGU journals: Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G-Cubed), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, JAMES (Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems), JGR: Oceans, JGR: Atmospheres, JGR: Solid Earth, JGR: Space Physics, JGR: Biogeosciences, JGR: Earth’s Surface, Reviews of Geophysics, Space Weather, and Water Resources Research.

Conference on Radiation Belt and Solar Energetic Particles

1 April 2005
This special section of Space Weather consists of a reviewed selection of the papers presented at this conference. We look forward to these papers contributing to new information for practical purposes related to Earth's radiation environment.