Extremely high speed solar wind: 29-30 October 2003

R. M. Skoug, J. T. Gosling, J. T. Steinberg, D. J. McComas, C. W. Smith, N. F. Ness, Q. Hu, L. F. Burlaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Scopus citations


On 29-30 October 2003 the Solar Wind Electron Proton Alpha Monitor (SWEPAM) instrument on the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft measured solar wind speeds in excess of 1850 km/s, some of the highest speeds ever directly measured in the solar wind. These speeds were observed following two large coronal mass ejection (CME) driven shocks. Surprisingly, despite the unusually high speeds, many of the other solar wind parameters were not particularly unusual in comparison with other large transient events. The magnetic field reached -68 nT, a large but not unprecedented value. The proton temperatures were significantly higher than typical for a CME in the solar wind at 1 AU (>107 K), but the proton densities were moderate, leading to low to moderate proton beta. The solar wind dynamic pressure was not unusual for large events but, when coupled with the large negative Bz, was sufficient to cause intense geomagnetic disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA09102
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


  • Coronal mass ejections
  • Extreme solar wind
  • High-speed solar wind
  • Interplanetary magnetic field
  • Interplanetary shocks
  • Solar wind plasma

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    Skoug, R. M., Gosling, J. T., Steinberg, J. T., McComas, D. J., Smith, C. W., Ness, N. F., Hu, Q., & Burlaga, L. F. (2004). Extremely high speed solar wind: 29-30 October 2003. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 109(A9), [A09102]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2004JA010494