Maximum coronal mass ejection speed as an indicator of solar and geomagnetic activities

A. Kilcik, V. B. Yurchyshyn, V. Abramenko, P. R. Goode, N. Gopalswamy, A. Ozguc, J. P. Rozelot

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18 Scopus citations


We investigate the relationship between the monthly averaged maximal speeds of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), international sunspot number (ISSN), and the geomagnetic Dst and Ap indices covering the 1996-2008 time interval (solar cycle 23). Our new findings are as follows. (1) There is a noteworthy relationship between monthly averaged maximum CME speeds and sunspot numbers, Ap and Dst indices. Various peculiarities in the monthly Dst index are correlated better with the fine structures in the CME speed profile than that in the ISSN data. (2) Unlike the sunspot numbers, the CME speed index does not exhibit a double peak maximum. Instead, the CME speed profile peaks during the declining phase of solar cycle 23. Similar to the Ap index, both CME speed and the Dst indices lag behind the sunspot numbers by several months. (3) The CME number shows a double peak similar to that seen in the sunspot numbers. The CME occurrence rate remained very high even near the minimum of the solar cycle 23, when both the sunspot number and the CME average maximum speed were reaching their minimum values. (4) A well-defined peak of the Ap index between 2002 May and 2004 August was co-temporal with the excess of the mid-latitude coronal holes during solar cycle 23. The above findings suggest that the CME speed index may be a useful indicator of both solar and geomagnetic activities. It may have advantages over the sunspot numbers, because it better reflects the intensity of Earth-directed solar eruptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Methods: data analysis
  • Solar-terrestrial relations
  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs)


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