Tsurutani, B. T., Verkhoglyadova, O. P., Mannucci, A. J., Lakhina, G.
S., Li, G., and Zank, G. P.,
"A brief review of 'solar flare effects' on the ionosphere,"
Radio Science 44.0A17T (2009).
Click on the image above for a larger .gif version.
The paper is a nice review of how solar hard radiation affects the ionosphere. The Archivist does not like the nomenclature, though: the authors propose turgid names, such as the "Solar Flare Effect" which readily becomes yet another boring acronym - SFE. Granted, this field has been rife with acronyms for a long time (SFD, SPA, SWF, SCNA, SEA etc..., each with its distinct significance). However the SFE used to have a colorful and precise term derived from the perturbations scratched out by the earliest recording compasses, such as the one at Kew Gardens that ushered in "space weather" in 1859 by detecting the geomagnetic consequences of a major solar flare. In those days an SFE was called a "magnetic crotchet." Why eliminate such a colorful term in favor of a drab TLA?
Anyway, rant aside, the cartoon nicely shows solar electromagnetic radiation impinging from the left and lighting up the ionosphere in a blood-red color; other effects come from solar particles that stream down into the polar caps of the Earth.
20 January 2011Archive home page