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Estimating the Irradiance and Atmospheric Impact of a Carrington-Level Flare

Presentation #207.05 in the session Solar X-ray and VUV Spectra: Observation, Modeling and Planetary Atmospheric Impacts I.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Estimating the Irradiance and Atmospheric Impact of a Carrington-Level Flare

The largest solar flares measured with modern instrumentation are around GOES class X10, with only a few cases exceeding X20. The occurrence of the Carrington flare of 1859, however, and observations of stellar flares on Sun-like stars suggest that flares may reach significantly larger irradiances than the typical X-class flare. In order to understand how such a large increase in solar irradiance might impact the Earth’s atmosphere, then, we must rely on extrapolations. In this work, we describe a method to extrapolate a flare’s irradiance using the NRLFLARE model as a baseline. We calculate extrapolated spectra up to the X100 level using two different methods, based on observations of spectral line irradiance with SDO/EVE. The initial extrapolations suggest that there is only a modest increase in the irradiance over observed flares, particularly at longer wavelengths (> 200 A). We finally simulate the impact of such an event on atmospheric conditions with the TIME-GCM and SAMI3 models.

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