Geophys. Res. Lett. 31 L2802−L2805, 2004
© American Geophysical Union

Tracking a major interplanetary disturbance with SMEI

S.J. Tappin
School of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Birmingham, UK.

A. Buffington
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA


M.P. Cooke and C.J. Eyles
School of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Birmingham, UK.

P.P. Hick
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA


P.E. Holladay
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA

B.V. Jackson
Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA


J.C. Johnston
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA

T. Kuchar and D. Mizuno
ISR, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

J.B. Mozer
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA
National Solar Observatory, Sunspot, NM, USA


S. Price
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA

R.R. Radick
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA
National Solar Observatory, Sunspot, NM, USA


G.M. Simnett
School of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Birmingham, UK.

D. Sinclair
Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA

N.R. Waltham
Space Science Department, Rutherford Appleton Lab, Chilton, UK

D.F. Webb
ISR, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

Abstract

We present the first clear observations of an Earth-directred interplanetary disturbance tracked by the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI). We find that this event can be related to two halo CMEs seen at the Sun about 2 days earlier, and which merged in transit to 1 AU. The disturbance was seen about 16 hours before it reached Earth, and cause a severe geomagnetic storm at the time which would have been predicted had SMEI been operating as a real-time monitor. It is concluded that SMEI is capable of giving many hours advance warning of the possible arrival of interplanetary disturbances.