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Effects of ICMEs on High Energetic Particles as Observed by the Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN)

  • A. Dal Lago (a1), C. R. Braga (a1), R. R. S. de Mendonca (a1), M. Rockenbach (a1), E. Echer (a1), N. J. Schuch (a2), K. Munakata (a3), C. Kato (a3), T. Kuwabara (a4), M. Kozai (a5), H. K. Al Jassar (a6), M. M. Sharma (a6), M. Tokumaru (a7), M. Duldig (a8), J. Humble (a8), P. Evenson (a9) and I. Sabbah (a10)...

Abstract

The Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) is composed by four ground cosmic ray detectors distributed around the Earth: Nagoya (Japan), Hobart (Australia), Sao Martinho da Serra (Brazil) and Kuwait city (Kuwait). The network has operated since March 2006. It has been upgraded a few times, increasing its detection area. Each detector is sensitive to muons produced by the interactions of ~50 GeV Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) with the Earth′s atmosphere. At these energies, GCR are known to be affected by interplanetary disturbances in the vicinity of the earth. Of special interest are the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their driven shocks because they are known to be the main origins of geomagnetic storms. It has been observed that these ICMEs produce changes in the cosmic ray gradient, which can be measured by GMDN observations. In terms of applications for space weather, some attempts have been made to use GMDN for forecasting ICME arrival at the earth with lead times of the order of few hours. Scientific space weather studies benefit the most from the GMDN network. As an example, studies have been able to determine ICME orientation at the earth using cosmic ray gradient. Such determinations are of crucial importance for southward interplanetary magnetic field estimates, as well as ICME rotation.

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