Evidence for multiple ejecta: April 7-11, 1997, ISTP Sun-Earth connection event

D. Berdichevsku, J. -L. Bougeret, J. -P. Delaboudiniere, B. Fox, M. Kaiser, R. P. Lepping, D. Michels, s. plunkett, D. Reames, M. Reiner, I. Richardson, G. Rostoker, J. Steinberg, B. Thompson, and T. von Rosenvinge

Hughes-STX Corporation, Greenbelt, MD 20770


Evidence is presented that the enhanced geomagnetic activity, on April 10-11, 1997, was caused by one of two ejecta that left the Sun at » 14 UT on April 7. This ejecta was not directly detected at the Earth. The evidence for this interpretation is based on WIND spacecraft observations in the solar wind (SW). It is consistent with: (I) measured velocities of the coronal mass ejections from the SOHO coronagraph; (ii) the initial propagation speed of the shock generated in this event, estimation from type II radio burst observations from the WAVES instrument on WIND, and (iii) the time profile of energetic ions observed by EPACT on WIND. This locally unobserved ejecta (moving at 600 to 700 kms-1) generated a fast shock which accelerated ions to several tens of MeV/amu. The inferred passage of the first ejecta close to Earth (on April 10 to 11) is based on the observation of an interplanetary shock (IS) ahead of a field and plasma compressional region where the draping of the SW flow and possible the changes in the direction of the IMF are consistent with a location northward of a faster ejecta. This ejecta was responsible for disturbed SW conditions including approximately ten hours of southward orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and a ram pressure many times above normal. The slower moving ejecta was directed toward Earth and was observed with WIND from about 0550 until 1500 UT on April 11. It had a strong northward IMF and produced density enhancements which elevated the ram pressure to more than four times above normal.

Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 2473-2476, 1998