University of Maryland
4:30 PM Monday, November 14, 2022
Talk Recording

Ed Cliver
National Solar Observatory, Boulder CO

Extreme Solar Events

The study of extreme solar activity began with Carrington’s observation of a white-light flare in 1859, but it is only within the last two decades that extreme events, as a separate class, have been examined in detail. I trace the growth of the field, including expansions into the past (via cosmogenic nuclides in tree rings and ice cores) and beyond the Sun (superflares on Sun-like stars) and review observed and projected extremes of solar and solar-terrestrial phenomena including solar flares, coronal mass ejections, geomagnetic storms, and solar energetic proton events. The inferred high-energy proton event in 775 AD is the best candidate for a solar black swan (unexpected event with severe consequences) while the solar decimetric outburst on 6 December 2006 presents a clear example of a dragon king (an extreme event that differs in kind from other such events that are merely large).