Browsing by Subject "EARTH"

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  • Harrison, R. A.; Davies, J. A.; Barnes, D.; Byrne, J. P.; Perry, C. H.; Bothmer, V.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gallagher, P. T.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Möstl, C.; Rodriguez, L.; Rouillard, A. P.; Odstril, D. (2018)
    We present a statistical analysis of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) imaged by the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments on board NASA's twin-spacecraft STEREO mission between April 2007 and August 2017 for STEREO-A and between April 2007 and September 2014 for STEREO-B. The analysis exploits a catalogue that was generated within the FP7 HELCATS project. Here, we focus on the observational characteristics of CMEs imaged in the heliosphere by the inner (HI-1) cameras, while following papers will present analyses of CME propagation through the entire HI fields of view. More specifically, in this paper we present distributions of the basic observational parameters - namely occurrence frequency, central position angle (PA) and PA span - derived from nearly 2000 detections of CMEs in the heliosphere by HI-1 on STEREO-A or STEREO-B from the minimum between Solar Cycles 23 and 24 to the maximum of Cycle 24; STEREO-A analysis includes a further 158 CME detections from the descending phase of Cycle 24, by which time communication with STEREO-B had been lost. We compare heliospheric CME characteristics with properties of CMEs observed at coronal altitudes, and with sunspot number. As expected, heliospheric CME rates correlate with sunspot number, and are not inconsistent with coronal rates once instrumental factors/differences in cataloguing philosophy are considered. As well as being more abundant, heliospheric CMEs, like their coronal counterparts, tend to be wider during solar maximum. Our results confirm previous coronagraph analyses suggesting that CME launch sites do not simply migrate to higher latitudes with increasing solar activity. At solar minimum, CMEs tend to be launched from equatorial latitudes, while at maximum, CMEs appear to be launched over a much wider latitude range; this has implications for understanding the CME/solar source association. Our analysis provides some supporting evidence for the systematic dragging of CMEs to lower latitude as they propagate outwards.
  • Rollett, T.; Moestl, C.; Isavnin, A.; Davies, J. A.; Kubicka, M.; Amerstorfer, U. V.; Harrison, R. A. (2016)
    In this study, we present a new method for forecasting arrival times and speeds of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) at any location in the inner heliosphere. This new approach enables the adoption of a highly flexible geometrical shape for the CME front with an adjustable CME angular width and an adjustable radius of curvature of its leading edge, i.e., the assumed geometry is elliptical. Using, as input, Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) heliospheric imager (HI) observations, a new elliptic conversion (ElCon) method is introduced and combined with the use of drag-based model (DBM) fitting to quantify the deceleration or acceleration experienced by CMEs during propagation. The result is then used as input for the Ellipse Evolution Model (ElEvo). Together, ElCon, DBM fitting, and ElEvo form the novel ElEvoHI forecasting utility. To demonstrate the applicability of ElEvoHI, we forecast the arrival times and speeds of 21 CMEs remotely observed from STEREO/HI and compare them to in situ arrival times and speeds at 1 AU. Compared to the commonly used STEREO/HI fitting techniques (Fixed-phi, Harmonic Mean, and Self-similar Expansion fitting), ElEvoHI improves the arrival time forecast by about 2 to +/- 6.5 hr and the arrival speed forecast by approximate to 250 to +/- 53 km s(-1), depending on the ellipse aspect ratio assumed. In particular, the remarkable improvement of the arrival speed prediction is potentially beneficial for predicting geomagnetic storm strength at Earth.
  • Moestl, C.; Amerstorfer, T.; Palmerio, E.; Isavnin, A.; Farrugia, C. J.; Lowder, C.; Winslow, R. M.; Donnerer, J. M.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Boakes, P. D. (2018)
    Forecasting the geomagnetic effects of solar storms, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), is currently severely limited by our inability to predict the magnetic field configuration in the CME magnetic core and by observational effects of a single spacecraft trajectory through its 3-D structure. CME magnetic flux ropes can lead to continuous forcing of the energy input to the Earth's magnetosphere by strong and steady southward-pointing magnetic fields. Here we demonstrate in a proof-of-concept way a new approach to predict the southward field B-z in a CME flux rope. It combines a novel semiempirical model of CME flux rope magnetic fields (Three-Dimensional Coronal ROpe Ejection) with solar observations and in situ magnetic field data from along the Sun-Earth line. These are provided here by the MESSENGER spacecraft for a CME event on 9-13 July 2013. Three-Dimensional Coronal ROpe Ejection is the first such model that contains the interplanetary propagation and evolution of a 3-D flux rope magnetic field, the observation by a synthetic spacecraft, and the prediction of an index of geomagnetic activity. A counterclockwise rotation of the left-handed erupting CME flux rope in the corona of 30 degrees and a deflection angle of 20 degrees is evident from comparison of solar and coronal observations. The calculated Dst matches reasonably the observed Dst minimum and its time evolution, but the results are highly sensitive to the CME axis orientation. We discuss assumptions and limitations of the method prototype and its potential for real time space weather forecasting and heliospheric data interpretation.
  • Asvestari, Eleanna; Pomoell, Jens; Kilpua, Emilia; Good, Simon; Chatzistergos, Theodosios; Temmer, Manuela; Palmerio, Erika; Poedts, Stefaan; Magdalenic, Jasmina (2021)
    Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are a manifestation of the Sun's eruptive nature. They can have a great impact on Earth, but also on human activity in space and on the ground. Therefore, modelling their evolution as they propagate through interplanetary space is essential. Aims. EUropean Heliospheric FORecasting Information Asset (EUHFORIA) is a data-driven, physics-based model, tracing the evolution of CMEs through background solar wind conditions. It employs a spheromak flux rope, which provides it with the advantage of reconstructing the internal magnetic field configuration of CMEs. This is something that is not included in the simpler cone CME model used so far for space weather forecasting. This work aims at assessing the spheromak CME model included in EUHFORIA. Methods. We employed the spheromak CME model to reconstruct a well observed CME and compare model output to in situ observations. We focus on an eruption from 6 January 2013 that was encountered by two radially aligned spacecraft, Venus Express and STEREO-A. We first analysed the observed properties of the source of this CME eruption and we extracted the CME properties as it lifted off from the Sun. Using this information, we set up EUHFORIA runs to model the event. Results. The model predicts arrival times from half to a full day ahead of the in situ observed ones, but within errors established from similar studies. In the modelling domain, the CME appears to be propagating primarily southward, which is in accordance with white-light images of the CME eruption close to the Sun. Conclusions. In order to get the observed magnetic field topology, we aimed at selecting a spheromak rotation angle for which the axis of symmetry of the spheromak is perpendicular to the direction of the polarity inversion line (PIL). The modelled magnetic field profiles, their amplitude, arrival times, and sheath region length are all affected by the choice of radius of the modelled spheromak.
  • Sanchez-Diaz, E.; Rouillard, A. P.; Davies, J. A.; Lavraud, B.; Sheeley, N. R.; Pinto, R. F.; Kilpua, E.; Plotnikov, I.; Genot, V. (2017)
    The origin of the slow solar wind is still a topic of much debate. The continual emergence of small transient structures from helmet streamers is thought to constitute one of the main sources of the slow wind. Determining the height at which these transients are released is an important factor in determining the conditions under which the slow solar wind forms. To this end, we have carried out a multipoint analysis of small transient structures released from a north-south tilted helmet streamer into the slow solar wind over a broad range of position angles during Carrington Rotation 2137. Combining the remote-sensing observations taken by the Solar-TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission with coronagraphic observations from the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, we show that the release of such small transient structures (often called blobs), which subsequently move away from the Sun, is associated with the concomitant formation of transient structures collapsing back toward the Sun; the latter have been referred to by previous authors as "raining inflows." This is the first direct association between outflowing blobs and raining inflows, which locates the formation of blobs above the helmet streamers and gives strong support that the blobs are released by magnetic reconnection.
  • Davies, Emma E.; Forsyth, Robert J.; Good, Simon W.; Kilpua, Emilia K. J. (2020)
    We present observations of the same magnetic cloud made near Earth by the Advance Composition Explorer (ACE), Wind, and the Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS) mission comprising the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) B and THEMIS C spacecraft, and later by Juno at a distance of 1.2 AU. The spacecraft were close to radial alignment throughout the event, with a longitudinal separation of 3.6 degrees between Juno and the spacecraft near Earth. The magnetic cloud likely originated from a filament eruption on 22 October 2011 at 00:05 UT, and caused a strong geomagnetic storm at Earth commencing on 24 October. Observations of the magnetic cloud at each spacecraft have been analysed using minimum variance analysis and two flux rope fitting models, Lundquist and Gold-Hoyle, to give the orientation of the flux rope axis. We explore the effect different trailing edge boundaries have on the results of each analysis method, and find a clear difference between the orientations of the flux rope axis at the near-Earth spacecraft and Juno, independent of the analysis method. The axial magnetic field strength and the radial width of the flux rope are calculated using both observations and fitting parameters and their relationship with heliocentric distance is investigated. Differences in results between the near-Earth spacecraft and Juno are attributed not only to the radial separation, but to the small longitudinal separation which resulted in a surprisingly large difference in the in situ observations between the spacecraft. This case study demonstrates the utility of Juno cruise data as a new opportunity to study magnetic clouds beyond 1 AU, and the need for caution in future radial alignment studies.
  • Palmerio, Erika; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Savani, Neel P. (2016)
    Planar magnetic structures (PMSs) are periods in the solar wind during which interplanetary magnetic field vectors are nearly parallel to a single plane. One of the specific regions where PMSs have been reported are coronal mass ejection (CME)-driven sheaths. We use here an automated method to identify PMSs in 95 CME sheath regions observed in situ by the Wind and ACE spacecraft between 1997 and 2015. The occurrence and location of the PMSs are related to various shock, sheath, and CME properties. We find that PMSs are ubiquitous in CME sheaths; 85% of the studied sheath regions had PMSs with the mean duration of 6 h. In about one-third of the cases the magnetic field vectors followed a single PMS plane that covered a significant part (at least 67%) of the sheath region. Our analysis gives strong support for two suggested PMS formation mechanisms: the amplification and alignment of solar wind discontinuities near the CME-driven shock and the draping of the magnetic field lines around the CME ejecta. For example, we found that the shock and PMS plane normals generally coincided for the events where the PMSs occurred near the shock (68% of the PMS plane normals near the shock were separated by less than 20 degrees from the shock normal), while deviations were clearly larger when PMSs occurred close to the ejecta leading edge. In addition, PMSs near the shock were generally associated with lower upstream plasma beta than the cases where PMSs occurred near the leading edge of the CME. We also demonstrate that the planar parts of the sheath contain a higher amount of strong southward magnetic field than the non-planar parts, suggesting that planar sheaths are more likely to drive magnetospheric activity.
  • Good, S. W.; Ala-Lahti, M.; Palmerio, E.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Osmane, A. (2020)
    The sheaths of compressed solar wind that precede interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) commonly display large-amplitude magnetic field fluctuations. As ICMEs propagate radially from the Sun, the properties of these fluctuations may evolve significantly. We have analyzed magnetic field fluctuations in an ICME sheath observed by MESSENGER at 0.47 au and subsequently by STEREO-B at 1.08 au while the spacecraft were close to radial alignment. Radial changes in fluctuation amplitude, compressibility, inertial-range spectral slope, permutation entropy, Jensen-Shannon complexity, and planar structuring are characterized. These changes are discussed in relation to the evolving turbulent properties of the upstream solar wind, the shock bounding the front of the sheath changing from a quasi-parallel to quasi-perpendicular geometry, and the development of complex structures in the sheath plasma.
  • Kilpua, E. K. J.; Fontaine, D.; Moissard, C.; Ala-Lahti, M.; Palmerio, E.; Yordanova, E.; Good, S. W.; Lumme, E.; Osmane, A.; Palmroth, M.; Turc, L.; Kalliokoski, Milla (2019)
    We present a statistical study of interplanetary conditions and geospace response to 89 coronal mass ejection-driven sheaths observed during Solar Cycles 23 and 24. We investigate in particular the dependencies on the driver properties and variations across the sheath. We find that the ejecta speed principally controls the sheath geoeffectiveness and shows the highest correlations with sheath parameters, in particular in the region closest to the shock. Sheaths of fast ejecta have on average high solar wind speeds, magnetic (B) field magnitudes, and fluctuations, and they generate efficiently strong out-of-ecliptic fields. Slow-ejecta sheaths are considerably slower and have weaker fields and field fluctuations, and therefore they cause primarily moderate geospace activity. Sheaths of weak and strong B field ejecta have distinct properties, but differences in their geoeffectiveness are less drastic. Sheaths of fast and strong ejecta push the subsolar magnetopause significantly earthward, often even beyond geostationary orbit. Slow-ejecta sheaths also compress the magnetopause significantly due to their large densities that are likely a result of their relatively long propagation times and source near the streamer belt. We find the regions near the shock and ejecta leading edge to be the most geoeffective parts of the sheath. These regions are also associated with the largest B field magnitudes, out-of-ecliptic fields, and field fluctuations as well as largest speeds and densities. The variations, however, depend on driver properties. Forecasting sheath properties is challenging due to their variable nature, but the dependence on ejecta properties determined in this work could help to estimate sheath geoeffectiveness through remote-sensing coronal mass ejection observations.
  • Dudley, Nigel; Jonas, Holly; Nelson, Fred; Parish, Jeffrey; Pyhälä, Aili Adelita; Stolton, Sue; Watson, James (2018)
    Continued biodiversity loss has prompted calls for half of the planet to be set aside for nature - including E. O Wilson's "Half-Earth" approach and the Wild Foundation's "Nature Needs Half" initiative. These efforts have provided a necessary wake-up call and drawn welcome global attention for the urgent need for increased action on conserving biodiversity and nature in general. Yet they have also sparked debate within the conservation community, particularly due to the huge practical and political obstacles to establishing or expanding protected areas on this scale. The new designation of "other effective area-based conservation measures" (OECMs) provides the opportunity for formal recognition of and support for areas delivering conservation outcomes outside the protected area estate. We argue that OECMs are essential to the achievement of big and bold conservation targets such as Half-Earth. But integration of OECMs into the conservation estate requires fundamental changes in protected area planning and how the conservation community deals with human rights and social safeguards issues; it therefore challenges our understanding of what constitutes "conservation". It will only succeed if the key drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss are addressed in the whole planet. A broad, multifaceted and innovative approach, coupled with ambitious targets, provides our best hope yet of addressing complex conservation challenges. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Palmroth, M.; Tapio, J.; Soucek, A.; Perrels, A.; Jah, M.; Lönnqvist, M.; Nikulainen, M.; Piaulokaite, V.; Seppälä, T.; Virtanen, J. (2021)
    During the last few years, the amount of space debris has been frequently mentioned as a potential risk to current and future space operations. The purpose of this article was to describe the discussions held at the First Sustainable Space Economy Workshop held in Finland 2019. The workshop gathered together experts with economic, legal, regulatory, technological, and environmental backgrounds, with an aim of discussing the sustainable use of space from all these perspectives. As an outcome of these discussions, we find that two concepts, satellite sustainability footprint and orbital capacity, should be introduced at an international level. The satellite sustainability footprint measures how likely the satellite stays healthy and operating, without causing risks to self or others. The orbit capacity is essentially an integral of the footprint over an orbit, and it determines how many satellites of different footprints could be launched to the same orbit. In addition, in this article, we discuss how to realize such concepts within the current normative framework. The authors suggest both top-down and bottom-up approaches, necessitating negotiations within an intergovernmental framework and with the relevant space actors. The most important finding of the workshop and this article, however, is that different space-related fields and experts having diverse backgrounds should continuously discuss in a constructive and informal manner to realize the sustainable utilization of space in practice. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).