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The State of the Solar Wind, Magnetosphere, and Ionosphere During the Maunder Minimum

  • Pete Riley (a1), Roberto Lionello (a1), Jon A. Linker (a1) and Mathew J. Owens (a2)


Both direct observations and reconstructions from various datasets, suggest that conditions were radically different during the Maunder Minimum (MM) than during the space era. Using an MHD model, we develop a set of feasible solutions to infer the properties of the solar wind during this interval. Additionally, we use these results to drive a global magnetospheric model. Finally, using the 2008/2009 solar minimum as an upper limit for MM conditions, we use results from the International Reference Ionosphere (ILI) model to speculate on the state of the ionosphere. The results describe interplanetary, magnetospheric, and ionospheric conditions that were substantially different than today. For example: (1) the solar wind density and magnetic field strength were an order of magnitude lower; (2) the Earth’s magnetopause and shock standoff distances were a factor of two larger; and (3) the maximum electron density in the ionosphere was substantially lower.



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