Ips-fd-alert -- Forbush Decrease Alert


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A Neutron Monitor is operated by the Australian Antarctic Program at its Mawson Antarctic base. Data from this instrument is a count of neutrons which are produced indirectly from Cosmic Rays, which consist mainly of protons. A decrease in detector count rate originating from galactic cosmic rays, may mean that a coronal mass ejection is enroute to the Earth, as the magnetic fields entrapped in and around coronal mass ejections exert a shielding effect on the galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) which is detected by the neutron monitors. This causes a reduction in the count rate from the monitor. The reduction is typically from about 3 to 20%. The reduction occurs typically over a time scale of several hours to a few days. ASWFC Forbush Decrease Alerts are issued automatically by detection software and should be confirmed on the SWS website, under the Geophysical Section. A forbush decrease alert is issued when the count has dropped by 3% or more.
Further information on AAD/SWS Cosmic Ray data can be found at: SWS/AAD WDC Cosmic ray data
Background reading on Cosmic Rays is available at: SWS Educational Page -Cosmic Rays

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