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Physical Meaning of the Equinoctial Effect for Semi-annual Variation in Geomagnetic Activity : Volume 27, Issue 5 (04/05/2009)

By Yoshida, A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004001996
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 6
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Physical Meaning of the Equinoctial Effect for Semi-annual Variation in Geomagnetic Activity : Volume 27, Issue 5 (04/05/2009)  
Author: Yoshida, A.
Volume: Vol. 27, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Annales, Geophysicae
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Yoshida, A. (2009). Physical Meaning of the Equinoctial Effect for Semi-annual Variation in Geomagnetic Activity : Volume 27, Issue 5 (04/05/2009). Retrieved from

Description: National Institute of Polar Research, 1-9-10 Kaga, Itabashi, Tokyo, 173-8515, Japan. Physical meaning of the equinoctial effect for semi-annual variation in geomagnetic activity is investigated based on the three-hourly am index and solar wind parameters. When the z component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) in geocentric solar magnetospheric (GSM) coordinates is southward, am indices are well correlated with BsVx2, where Bs is the southward component of the IMF and Vx is the solar wind velocity in the sun-earth direction. The am-BsVx2 relationship, however, depends on the range of Vx2: the am in higher ranges of Vx2 tends to be larger than am in lower ranges of Vx2 for the same value of BsVx2 for both equinoctial and solstitial epochs. Using the data sets of the same Vx2 range, it is shown that distribution of points in the am-BsVx2 diagram at the solstitial epochs overlaps with that at the equinoctial epochs and the average am values in each BsVx2 bin in solstitial epochs are closely consistent with those in equinoctial epochs, if Vx2 for each point at solstices are reduced to Vx2sin2 (Ψ) where Ψ is the geomagnetic colatitude of the sub-solar point. Further, it is shown that monthly averages of the am index in the long period is well correlated with the values of sin2(ψ) for the middle day of each month. These findings indicate that the factor that contributes to the generation of geomagnetic disturbance is not the velocity of the solar wind, but the component of the solar wind velocity perpendicular to the dipole axis of the geomagnetic field. The magnitude of the perpendicular velocity component varies semi-annually even if the solar wind velocity remains constant, which is considered to be the long-missed key factor causing the equinoctial effect.

Physical meaning of the equinoctial effect for semi-annual variation in geomagnetic activity

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