Cosmic Ray Division Registers Intense Solar Flares
by Ashot Chilingarian
On September 9, 2011 Armenia’s Cosmic Ray Division of the Artem Alikhanyan National Laboratories (AANL – formerly called the Yerevan Physics Institute) registered four intense solar flares at its Aragats research station near the summit of Armenia’s Mt. Aragats. The strong X-ray radiation, since it travels at the speed of light, was the first radiation detected and was measured by the GEOS 15 satellite. The subsequent arrival of solar cosmic ray particles was detected by the Cosmic Ray Division’s Neutron Monitor array at the Aragats Research Station atop Armenia’s Mt. Aragats. The solar flares were accompanied by Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in which huge clouds of ionized particles with strong magnetic fields are ejected – this time towards the earth. The resulting geomagnetic storm, with a “Kp” index of 7 (out of a maximum of 9) resulted in disturbances to the Earth’s magnetic field.
The Cosmic Ray Division has one of the world’s largest arrays of cosmic ray particle detectors. It’s neutron monitors are part of the world wide neutron monitoring network.
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