Browsing by Subject "Space weather"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-6 of 6
  • 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.
  • Barnes, D.; Davies, J. A.; Harrison, R. A.; 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.; Odstrcil, D. (2019)
    Recent observations with the Heliospheric Imagers (HIs) onboard the twin NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft have provided unprecedented observations of a large number of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the inner heliosphere. In this article we discuss the generation of the HIGeoCAT CME catalogue and perform a statistical analysis of its events. The catalogue was generated as part of the EU FP7 HELCATS (Heliospheric Cataloguing, Analysis and Techniques Service) project (www.helcats-fp7.eu/). It is created by generating time/elongation maps for CMEs using observations from the inner (HI-1) and outer (HI-2) cameras along a position angle close to the CME apex. Next, we apply single-spacecraft geometric-fitting techniques to determine the kinematic properties of these CMEs, including their speeds, propagation directions, and launch times. The catalogue contains a total of 1455 events (801 from STEREO-A and 654 from STEREO-B) from April 2007 to the end of August 2017. We perform a statistical analysis of the properties of CMEs in HIGeoCAT and compare the results with those from the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) CDAW catalogues (Yashiro etal.J.Geophys. Res. Space Phys.109, A07105, 2004) and the COR-2 catalogue of Vourlidas etal. (Astrophys. J.838, 141, 2004) during the same period. We find that the distributions of both speeds and latitudes for the HIGeoCAT CMEs correlate with the sunspot number over the solar cycle. We also find that the HI-derived CME speed distributions are generally consistent with coronagraph catalogues over the solar cycle, albeit with greater absolute speeds due to the differing methods with which each is derived.
  • Poedts, Stefaan; Lani, Andrea; Scolini, Camilla; Verbeke, Christine; Wijsen, Nicolas; Lapenta, Giovanni; Laperre, Brecht; Millas, Dimitrios; Innocenti, Maria Elena; Chane, Emmanuel; Baratashvili, Tinatin; Samara, Evangelia; Van der Linden, Ronald; Rodriguez, Luciano; Vanlommel, Petra; Vainio, Rami; Afanasiev, Alexandr; Kilpua, Emilia; Pomoell, Jens; Sarkar, Ranadeep; Aran, Angels; Sanahuja, Blai; Paredes, Josep M.; Clarke, Ellen; Thomson, Alan; Rouilard, Alexis; Pinto, Rui F.; Marchaudon, Aurelie; Blelly, Pierre-Louis; Gorce, Blandine; Plotnikov, Illya; Kouloumvakos, Athanasis; Heber, Bernd; Herbst, Konstantin; Kochanov, Andrey; Raeder, Joachim; Depauw, Jan (2020)
    Aims: This paper presents a H2020 project aimed at developing an advanced space weather forecasting tool, combining the MagnetoHydroDynamic (MHD) solar wind and coronal mass ejection (CME) evolution modelling with solar energetic particle (SEP) transport and acceleration model(s). The EUHFORIA 2.0 project will address the geoeffectiveness of impacts and mitigation to avoid (part of the) damage, including that of extreme events, related to solar eruptions, solar wind streams, and SEPs, with particular emphasis on its application to forecast geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) and radiation on geospace. Methods: We will apply innovative methods and state-of-the-art numerical techniques to extend the recent heliospheric solar wind and CME propagation model EUHFORIA with two integrated key facilities that are crucial for improving its predictive power and reliability, namely (1) data-driven flux-rope CME models, and (2) physics-based, self-consistent SEP models for the acceleration and transport of particles along and across the magnetic field lines. This involves the novel coupling of advanced space weather models. In addition, after validating the upgraded EUHFORIA/SEP model, it will be coupled to existing models for GICs and atmospheric radiation transport models. This will result in a reliable prediction tool for radiation hazards from SEP events, affecting astronauts, passengers and crew in high-flying aircraft, and the impact of space weather events on power grid infrastructure, telecommunication, and navigation satellites. Finally, this innovative tool will be integrated into both the Virtual Space Weather Modeling Centre (VSWMC, ESA) and the space weather forecasting procedures at the ESA SSCC in Ukkel (Belgium), so that it will be available to the space weather community and effectively used for improved predictions and forecasts of the evolution of CME magnetic structures and their impact on Earth. Results: The results of the first six months of the EU H2020 project are presented here. These concern alternative coronal models, the application of adaptive mesh refinement techniques in the heliospheric part of EUHFORIA, alternative flux-rope CME models, evaluation of data-assimilation based on Karman filtering for the solar wind modelling, and a feasibility study of the integration of SEP models.
  • Manchester, Ward; Kilpua, Emilia Katja Johanna; Liu, Ying D.; Lugaz, Noe; Riley, Pete; Torok, Tibor; Vrsnak, Bojan (2017)
    As observed in Thomson-scattered white light, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are manifest as large-scale expulsions of plasma magnetically driven from the corona in the most energetic eruptions from the Sun. It remains a tantalizing mystery as to how these erupting magnetic fields evolve to form the complex structures we observe in the solar wind at Earth. Here, we strive to provide a fresh perspective on the post-eruption and interplanetary evolution of CMEs, focusing on the physical processes that define the many complex interactions of the ejected plasma with its surroundings as it departs the corona and propagates through the heliosphere. We summarize the ways CMEs and their interplanetary CMEs (ICMEs) are rotated, reconfigured, deformed, deflected, decelerated and disguised during their journey through the solar wind. This study then leads to consideration of how structures originating in coronal eruptions can be connected to their far removed interplanetary counterparts. Given that ICMEs are the drivers of most geomagnetic storms (and the sole driver of extreme storms), this work provides a guide to the processes that must be considered in making space weather forecasts from remote observations of the corona.
  • Eastwood, J. P.; Nakamura, R.; Turc, L.; Mejnertsen, L.; Hesse, M. (2017)
    The magnetosphere is the lens through which solar space weather phenomena are focused and directed towards the Earth. In particular, the non-linear interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field leads to the formation of highly inhomogenous electrical currents in the ionosphere which can ultimately result in damage to and problems with the operation of power distribution networks. Since electric power is the fundamental cornerstone of modern life, the interruption of power is the primary pathway by which space weather has impact on human activity and technology. Consequently, in the context of space weather, it is the ability to predict geomagnetic activity that is of key importance. This is usually stated in terms of geomagnetic storms, but we argue that in fact it is the substorm phenomenon which contains the crucial physics, and therefore prediction of substorm occurrence, severity and duration, either within the context of a longer-lasting geomagnetic storm, but potentially also as an isolated event, is of critical importance. Here we review the physics of the magnetosphere in the frame of space weather forecasting, focusing on recent results, current understanding, and an assessment of probable future developments.
  • Nitta, Nariaki; Mulligan, Tamitha; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Lynch, Benjamin J.; Mierla, Marilena; O'Kane, Jennifer; Pagano, Paolo; Palmerio, Erika; Pomoell, Jens; Richardson, Ian R.; Rodriguez, Luciano; Rouillard, Alexis P.; Sinha, Suvadip; Srivastava, Nandita; Talpeanu, Dana-Camelia; Yardley, Stephanie L.; Zhukov, Andrei N. (2021)
    Geomagnetic storms are an important aspect of space weather and can result in significant impacts on space- and ground-based assets. The majority of strong storms are associated with the passage of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) in the near-Earth environment. In many cases, these ICMEs can be traced back unambiguously to a specific coronal mass ejection (CME) and solar activity on the frontside of the Sun. Hence, predicting the arrival of ICMEs at Earth from routine observations of CMEs and solar activity currently makes a major contribution to the forecasting of geomagnetic storms. However, it is clear that some ICMEs, which may also cause enhanced geomagnetic activity, cannot be traced back to an observed CME, or, if the CME is identified, its origin may be elusive or ambiguous in coronal images. Such CMEs have been termed "stealth CMEs". In this review, we focus on these "problem" geomagnetic storms in the sense that the solar/CME precursors are enigmatic and stealthy. We start by reviewing evidence for stealth CMEs discussed in past studies. We then identify several moderate to strong geomagnetic storms (minimum Dst < -50 nT) in solar cycle 24 for which the related solar sources and/or CMEs are unclear and apparently stealthy. We discuss the solar and in situ circumstances of these events and identify several scenarios that may account for their elusive solar signatures. These range from observational limitations (e.g., a coronagraph near Earth may not detect an incoming CME if it is diffuse and not wide enough) to the possibility that there is a class of mass ejections from the Sun that have only weak or hard-to-observe coronal signatures. In particular, some of these sources are only clearly revealed by considering the evolution of coronal structures over longer time intervals than is usually considered. We also review a variety of numerical modelling approaches that attempt to advance our understanding of the origins and consequences of stealthy solar eruptions with geoeffective potential. Specifically, we discuss magnetofrictional modelling of the energisation of stealth CME source regions and magnetohydrodynamic modelling of the physical processes that generate stealth CME or CME-like eruptions, typically from higher altitudes in the solar corona than CMEs from active regions or extended filament channels.