AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 47 When the Sun Went Wild
Topical Session, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 2:30-4:00pm, 4:15-6:00pm, 702/704/706

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[47.09] Coronal Mass Ejections When the Sun Went Wild

N. Gopalswamy (NASA/GSFC), S. Yashiro (Catholic University), A. Vourlidas (Naval Research Laboratory), A. Lara, G. Stenborg (Catholic University), M. L. Kaiser (NASA/GSFC), R. A. Howard (Naval Research Laboratory)

The Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) on board SOHO detected more than five dozen CMEs from three active regions (NOAA ARs 0484, 0486, and 0488) during the October-November 2003 super storms. The CMEs were accompanied by X-class flares, solar energetic particles, and interplanetary shocks. We compare the statistical properties of these super-storm CMEs with those of the general population of CMEs observed during cycle 23. We find that (i) the super-storm CMEs are faster and wider than average, and hence possess enormous energy, (ii) nearly 20 percent of the ultra-fast CMEs (speed > 2000 km/s) occurred during the October-November interval, including the fastest CME of cycle 23 (2700 km/s), and (iii) the rate of full-halo CMEs was nearly four times the average rate during cycle 23. As expected, many of these CMEs were driving shocks near the Sun as inferred from the Wind/WAVES radio data and at least eight of them impacted Earth. These strong shocks accelerated solar energetic particles, which remained at hazardous levels for many days. We discuss the implications of these extreme properties of CMEs for the solar energy source.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gopals@fugee.gsfc.nasa.gov

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