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 SCIENCE JOURNAL                                                                                                        ISSN: 27566641

      Influence of Interplanetary Phenomena on Geomagnetic Storm of March 17-18, 2015       

The influence of heliophysical and interplanetary transients on geomagnetic activity during the severe geomagneticstorm (D ) of March 17-18, 2015 has been investigated. The study is significant considering the fact that the storm st was the largest space weather event in solar cycle 24, and most importantly, the fact that it occurred without a major solar flare precursor. Solar X-ray flux data in the 1-8 Å channel, interplanetary magnetic field (B ), solar wind speed z (V ), zonal convection electric field (E ), storm distension (D ), auroral electrojet (AE) and planetary character (K ) sw y st p indices were carefully analysed. Results reveal that the storm, whose main phase occurred in multi-step, was due to the activity of the interplanetary structures rather than the impact of interplanetary coronal mass ejecta (ICME) and provides strong evidence that the superposition of closely spaced moderate storms could trigger a storm of greater magnitude. Solar flare emanating from the active region (AR2297) was hardly of M- or X- importance (a paltry M1) and the accompanying coronal mass ejection (CME) event on March 15, 2015 was neither earth-directed nor geoeffective in triggering the geomagnetic storm. Results of time series analysis of monthly mean sunspot number 1975-2015, comprising at least the last four solar cycles (including solar cycle 24), also provide ample evidence in support of the fact that during solar minima and the declining phases of solar cycles, severe geomagnetic storms are most likely to be driven by the interplanetary transients.
Keywords: space weather, geomagnetic storm, heliophysical phenomena, solar flares, interplanetary magnetic field,
magnetic reconnection.

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