Geomagnetic records of Carrington's Storm from Guatemala

Ribeiro P., Vaquero J.M., Trigo R.M.
Journal of Atmosphere and Solar Terrestrial Physics, 73, 308-315, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2009.12.017

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The present study revisits the Carrington's storm using the observations of geomagnetic declination(D) made in the meteorological observatory of Guatemala approximately during the 2 years preceding he storm. The available monthly data for absolute values (diurnal variation) cover the period that spans between May (April) 1857 and December 1859. The analysis of the temporal evolution of monthly means confirmed its overall good quality. Additionally, highly relevant quasi-hourly declination data was analysed for the 2 stormy days of 28 August and 2 September 1859, including complementary information on the auroral sightings on those days. The quasi-hourly data shows that an extremely large deviation (180) of the geomagnetic declination occurred at 12-13h (UT) on the 2 September 1859. The comparison of this disturbance with the maximum hourly variations of D recorded at other low-latitude stations during more recent major geomagnetic storms shows the reliability of the Guatemala data. Furthermore, it provides an additional confirmation of the global scale of the great Carrington's storm.