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Because of these effects, the changes in the solar wind plasma parameters (density, velocity, etc.) and IMF (especially direction in relation to Earth's own field) are very important for magnetospheric and ionospheric physics, and the scientific community tries to have continuous monitoring of these parameters via satellites like IMP-8, ISEE, and Wind. However, there are difficulties, because there is - at any given time - at most two or three satellite within the solar wind (quite often none at all), and the solar wind/IMF system is not homogeneous, as discussed above. See also the discussion about substorm triggering.

Solar wind event categories

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Changes in solar wind characteristics, so called solar wind events, can be categorized in several groups (see, e.g., ISTP Solar Wind Catalog).

References

  • Biermann, L., Kometschweife und solare Korpuskularstrahlung, Z. Astrophys., 29, 274, 1951.
  • Biermann, L., Untitled letter, Observatory, 77, 109, 1957.
  • Crooker, N. U., G. L. Siscoe, C. T. Russell, and E. J. Smith, Factors controlling degree of correlation between ISEE 1 and ISEE 3 interplanetary magnetic field measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 2224, 1982.
  • Kojima, M. and T. Kakinuma, Solar cycle dependence of global distribution of solar wind speed, Space Sci. Rev., 53, 173, 1990.
  • Parker, E. N., Extension of the solar corona into interplanetary space, J. Geophys. Res., 64, 1675, 1959.
  • Rickett, B. J. and W. A. Coles, Evolution fo the solar wind structure over a solar cycle: Interplanetary scintillation velocity measurements compared with coronal observations, J. Geophys. Res., 96, 1717, 1991.
  • Russell, C. T., G. L. Siscoe, and E. J. Smith, Comparison of ISEE-1 and -3 interplanetary magnetic field observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 7, 381-384, 1980.