Skip to main content

Table 1 Four types of Earth-affecting solar transients and their key physical processes and geoeffectiveness

From: Earth-affecting solar transients: a review of progresses in solar cycle 24

Earth-affecting solar transients

Key physical processes

Effects on near-earth space environment

Effects on technological system and life

Solar flares

Magnetic reconnection; ideal MHD instability; particle acceleration; plasma heating

Disturbances in the ionosphere; heating and expansion of upper atmosphere

High-frequency radio communication; satellite drag (Earth climate from long-term variation of solar irradiance)

CMEs and ICMEs

Ideal MHD instability; flux rope formation; shock formation; particle acceleration; aerodynamic drag; CME-CME interaction; magnetic reconnection

Geomagnetic storms; substorms; disturbances in the ionosphere; ionosphere scintillations; radiation belt storms

GPS systems and navigation; satellite communication; high-frequency radio communication; electric power transmission; satellite degradation and failure (single event upset; dielectric material charging and discharging; surface charging); radiation hazards to astronauts; radiation hazards to aircraft crew and passengers


Particle acceleration; injection; propagation; turbulence

Particle radiation storms

Satellite degradation and failure; high-frequency radio communication; radiation hazards to astronauts; atmospheric chemistry


Stream interaction; particle acceleration

Substorms; geomagnetic storms

Similar to CMEs to a lesser extent