Browsing by Subject "FLUX-ROPE"

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  • Ala-Lahti, Matti; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Soucek, Jan; Pulkkinen, Tuija; Dimmock, Andrew P. (2019)
    We report on a statistical analysis of the occurrence and properties of Alfven ion cyclotron (AIC) waves in sheath regions driven by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). We have developed an automated algorithm to identify AIC wave events from magnetic field data and apply it to investigate 91 ICME sheath regions recorded by the Wind spacecraft. Our analysis focuses on waves generated by the ion cyclotron instability. AIC waves are observed to be frequent structures in ICME-driven sheaths, and their occurrence is the highest in the vicinity of the shock. Together with previous studies, our results imply that the shock compression has a crucial role in generating wave activity in ICME sheaths. AIC waves tend to have their frequency below the ion cyclotron frequency, and, in general, occur in plasma that is stable with respect to the ion cyclotron instability and has lower ion beta(parallel to) than mirror modes. The results suggest that the ion beta anisotropy beta(perpendicular to)/beta(parallel to) > 1 appearing in ICME sheaths is regulated by both ion cyclotron and mirror instabilities.
  • Scolini, Camilla; Chane, Emmanuel; Temmer, Manuela; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Dissauer, Karin; Veronig, Astrid M.; Palmerio, Erika; Pomoell, Jens; Dumbovic, Mateja; Guo, Jingnan; Rodriguez, Luciano; Poedts, Stefaan (2020)
    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the primary sources of intense disturbances at Earth, where their geo-effectiveness is largely determined by their dynamic pressure and internal magnetic field, which can be significantly altered during interactions with other CMEs in interplanetary space. We analyse three successive CMEs that erupted from the Sun during September 4-6, 2017, investigating the role of CME-CME interactions as source of the associated intense geomagnetic storm (Dst(min)=-142 nT on September 7). To quantify the impact of interactions on the (geo-)effectiveness of individual CMEs, we perform global heliospheric simulations with the EUHFORIA model, using observation-based initial parameters with the additional purpose of validating the predictive capabilities of the model for complex CME events. The simulations show that around 0.45 AU, the shock driven by the September 6 CME started compressing a preceding magnetic ejecta formed by the merging of two CMEs launched on September 4, significantly amplifying its B-z until a maximum factor of 2.8 around 0.9 AU. The following gradual conversion of magnetic energy into kinetic and thermal components reduced the B-z amplification until its almost complete disappearance around 1.8 AU. We conclude that a key factor at the origin of the intense storm triggered by the September 4-6, 2017 CMEs was their arrival at Earth during the phase of maximum B-z amplification. Our analysis highlights how the amplification of the magnetic field of individual CMEs in space-time due to interaction processes can be characterised by a growth, a maximum, and a decay phase, suggesting that the time interval between the CME eruptions and their relative speeds are critical factors in determining the resulting impact of complex CMEs at various heliocentric distances (helio-effectiveness).
  • Kilpua, E. K. J.; Lugaz, N.; Mays, M. L.; Temmer, M. (2019)
    Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are the key drivers of strong to extreme space weather storms at the Earth that can have drastic consequences for technological systems in space and on ground. The ability of a CME to drive geomagnetic disturbances depends crucially on the magnetic structure of the embedded flux rope, which is thus essential to predict. The current capabilities in forecasting in advance (at least half a day before) the geoeffectiveness of a given CME is however severely hampered by the lack of remote-sensing measurements of the magnetic field in the corona and adequate tools to predict how CMEs deform, rotate, and deflect during their travel through the coronal and interplanetary space as they interact with the ambient solar wind and other CMEs. These problems can lead not only to overestimation or underestimation of the severity of a storm, but also to forecasting "misses" and "false alarms" that are particularly difficult for the end-users. In this paper, we discuss the current status and future challenges and prospects related to forecasting of the magnetic structure and orientation of CMEs. We focus both on observational- and modeling-based (first principle and semiempirical) approaches and discuss the space- and ground-based observations that would be the most optimal for making accurate space weather predictions. We also cover the gaps in our current understanding related to the formation and eruption of the CME flux rope and physical processes that govern its evolution in the variable ambient solar wind background that complicate the forecasting. Plain Language Summary Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are gigantic magnetized plasma clouds that are frequently expelled from the Sun. Practically all strong and extreme space weather disturbances in the near-Earth space environment are caused by CMEs that propagate in a few days from the Sun to the Earth. Space weather disturbances are related to various harmful effects to modern technology both in space and on ground which can lead to substantial economic losses. Forecasting the CME properties at least half a day before their impact on Earth is thus essential for our society. Our ability to provide accurate predictions of space weather consequences of CMEs is however currently quite modest. The key challenges are related to observational and modeling limitations, and complex evolution CMEs may experience as they propagate from Sun to Earth. This paper discusses the current status and future prospect in forecasting key CME properties using both observations and simulations.
  • Palmerio, Erika; Scolini, Camilla; Barnes, David; Magdalenic, Jasmina; West, Matthew J.; Zhukov, Andrei N.; Rodriguez, Luciano; Mierla, Marilena; Good, Simon W.; Morosan, Diana E.; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Pomoell, Jens; Poedts, Stefaan (2019)
    We analyze in this work the propagation and geoeffectiveness of four successive coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that erupted from the Sun during 2013 May 21-23 and were detected in interplanetary space by the Wind and/or STEREO-A spacecraft. All these CMEs featured critical aspects for understanding so-called "problem space weather storms" at Earth. In the first three events a limb CMEs resulted in moderately geoeffective in situ structures at their target location in terms of the disturbance storm time (Dst) index (either measured or estimated). The fourth CME, which also caused a moderate geomagnetic response, erupted from close to the disk center as seen from Earth, but it was not visible in coronagraph images from the spacecraft along the Sun-Earth line and appeared narrow and faint from off-angle viewpoints. Making the correct connection between CMEs at the Sun and their in situ counterparts is often difficult for problem storms. We investigate these four CMEs using multiwavelength and multipoint remote-sensing observations (extreme ultraviolet, white light, and radio), aided by 3D heliospheric modeling, in order to follow their propagation in the corona and in interplanetary space and to assess their impact at 1 au. Finally, we emphasize the difficulties in forecasting moderate space weather effects that are provoked by problematic and ambiguous events and the importance of multispacecraft data for observing and modeling problem storms.