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A great space weather event in February 1730

By Hisashi Hayakawa, Yusuke Ebihara, José M. Vaquero, Kentaro Hattori, Víctor M. S. Carrasco, María de la Cruz Gallego, Satoshi Hayakawa, Yoshikazu Watanabe, Kiyomi Iwahashi, Harufumi Tamazawa, Akito D. Kawamura and Hiroaki Isobe


Aims. Historical records provide evidence of extreme magnetic storms with equatorward auroral extensions before the epoch of systematic magnetic observations. One significant magnetic storm occurred on February 15, 1730. We scale this magnetic storm with auroral extension and contextualise it based on contemporary solar activity. Methods. We examined historical records in East Asia and computed the magnetic latitude (MLAT) of observational sites to scale magnetic storms. We also compared them with auroral records in Southern Europe. We examined contemporary sunspot observations to reconstruct detailed solar activity between 1729 and 1731. Results. We show 29 auroral records in East Asian historical documents and 37 sunspot observations. Conclusions. These records show that the auroral displays were visible at least down to 25.8° MLAT throughout East Asia. In comparison with contemporary European records, we show that the boundary of the auroral display closest to the equator surpassed 45.1° MLAT and possibly came down to 31.5° MLAT in its maximum phase, with considerable brightness. Contemporary sunspot records show an active phase in the first half of 1730 during the declining phase of the solar cycle. This magnetic storm was at least as intense as the magnetic storm in 1989, but less intense than the Carrington event

Topics: Sun: flares, sunspots, history and philosophy of astronomy, solar-terrestrial relations, Earth
Publisher: EDP Sciences
DOI identifier: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832735/pdf
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