Browsing by Subject "solar wind"

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  • Chrbolková, Kateřina; Brunetto, Rosario; Ďurech, Josef; Kohout, Tomas; Mizohata, Kenichiro; Maly, Petr; Dědič, Václav; Lantz, Cateline; Penttilä, Antti; Trojánek, František; Maturilli, Alessandro (2021)
    Context. Space weathering is a process that changes the surface of airless planetary bodies. Prime space weathering agents are solar wind irradiation and micrometeoroid bombardment. These processes alter planetary reflectance spectra and often modify their compositional diagnostic features. Aims. In this work we focused on simulating and comparing the spectral changes caused by solar wind irradiation and by micrometeoroid bombardment to gain a better understanding of these individual space weathering processes. Methods. We used olivine and pyroxene pellets as proxies for planetary materials. To simulate solar wind irradiation we used hydrogen, helium, and argon ions with energies from 5 to 40 keV and fluences of up to 10(18) particles cm(-2). To simulate micrometeoroid bombardment we used individual femtosecond laser pulses. We analysed the corresponding evolution of different spectral parameters, which we determined by applying the Modified Gaussian Model, and we also conducted principal component analysis. Results. The original mineralogy of the surface influences the spectral evolution more than the weathering agent, as seen from the diverse evolution of the spectral slope of olivine and pyroxene upon irradiation. The spectral slope changes seen in olivine are consistent with observations of A-type asteroids, while the moderate to no slope changes observed in pyroxene are consistent with asteroid (4) Vesta. We also observed some differences in the spectral effects induced by the two weathering agents. Ions simulating solar wind have a smaller influence on longer wavelengths of the spectra than laser irradiation simulating micrometeoroid impacts. This is most likely due to the different penetration depths of ions and laser pulses. Our results suggest that in some instances it might be possible to distinguish between the contributions of the two agents on a weathered surface.
  • Palmerio, E.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Möstl, C.; Bothmer, V.; James, A. W.; Green, L. M.; Isavnin, A.; Davies, J. A.; Harrison, R. A. (2018)
    Predicting the magnetic field within an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) well before its arrival at Earth is one of the most important issues in space weather research. In this article, we compare the intrinsic flux rope type, that is, the CME orientation and handedness during eruption, with the in situ flux rope type for 20 CME events that have been uniquely linked from Sun to Earth through heliospheric imaging. Our study shows that the intrinsic flux rope type can be estimated for CMEs originating from different source regions using a combination of indirect proxies. We find that only 20% of the events studied match strictly between the intrinsic and in situ flux rope types. The percentage rises to 55% when intermediate cases (where the orientation at the Sun and/or in situ is close to 45 degrees) are considered as a match. We also determine the change in the flux rope tilt angle between the Sun and Earth. For the majority of the cases, the rotation is several tens of degrees, while 35% of the events change by more than 90 degrees. While occasionally the intrinsic flux rope type is a good proxy for the magnetic structure impacting Earth, our study highlights the importance of capturing the CME evolution for space weather forecasting purposes. Moreover, we emphasize that determination of the intrinsic flux rope type is a crucial input for CME forecasting models. Plain Language Summary Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are huge eruptions from the Sun that can cause myriad of space weather effects at Earth. The ability of a CME to drive a geomagnetic storm is given largely by how its magnetic field is configured. Predicting the magnetic structure well before CME arrival at Earth is one of the major goals in space weather forecasting. Palmerio et al. (2018) study 20 CMEs observed both at the Sun and at Earth. They use observations of the solar disc to determine the magnetic structure at the Sun and then compare it with the magnetic structure estimated via magnetic field measurements near Earth. They report that the magnetic structures match closely only in 20% of the events studied. They also estimate the orientations of the CME axes at the Sun and at Earth. They find that 65% of the events change their orientations by less than 90 degrees. They conclude that knowledge of the CME magnetic structure at the Sun is an important factor in space weather forecasting, but the CME evolution after eruption has to be taken into account in order to improve current predictions.
  • Wilson, Lynn B.; Chen, Li-Jen; Wang, Shan; Schwartz, Steven J.; Turner, Drew L.; Stevens, Michael L.; Kasper, Justin C.; Osmane, Adnane; Caprioli, Damiano; Bale, Stuart D.; Pulupa, Marc P.; Salem, Chadi S.; Goodrich, Katherine A. (2019)
    Analyses of 15,314 electron velocity distribution functions (VDFs) within +/- 2 hr of 52 interplanetary (IP) shocks observed by the Wind spacecraft near 1 au are introduced. The electron VDFs are fit to the sum of three model functions for the cold dense core, hot tenuous halo, and field-aligned beam/strahl component. The best results were found by modeling the core as either a bi-kappa or a symmetric (or asymmetric) bi-self-similar VDF, while both the halo and beam/strahl components were best fit to bi-kappa VDF. This is the first statistical study to show that the core electron distribution is better fit to a self-similar VDF than a bi-Maxwellian under all conditions. The self-similar distribution deviation from a Maxwellian is a measure of inelasticity in particle scattering from waves and/or turbulence. The ranges of values defined by the lower and upper quartiles for the kappa exponents are k(ec) similar to 5.40-10.2 for the core, k(eh) similar to 3.58-5.34 for the halo, and k(eb) similar to 3.40-5.16 for the beam/strahl. The lower-to-upper quartile range of symmetric bi-self-similar core exponents is s(ec) similar to 2.00-2.04, and those of asymmetric bi-self-similar core exponents are p(ec) similar to 2.20-4.00 for the parallel exponent and q(ec) similar to 2.00-2.46 for the perpendicular exponent. The nuanced details of the fit procedure and description of resulting data product are also presented. The statistics and detailed analysis of the results are presented in Paper II and Paper III of this three-part study.
  • 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.
  • Pomoell, Jens; Poedts, Stefaan (2018)
    The implementation and first results of the new space weather forecasting-targeted inner heliosphere model "European heliospheric forecasting information asset" (EUHFORIA) are presented. EUHFORIA consists of two major components: a coronal model and a heliosphere model including coronal mass ejections. The coronal model provides data-driven solar wind plasma parameters at 0.1AU by constructing a model of the coronal large-scale magnetic field and employing empirical relations to determine the plasma state such as the solar wind speed and mass density. These are then used as boundary conditions to drive a three-dimensional time-dependent magnetohydrodynamics model of the inner heliosphere up to 2 AU. CMEs are injected into the ambient solar wind modeled using the cone model, with their parameters obtained from fits to imaging observations. In addition to detailing the modeling methodology, an initial validation run is presented. The results feature a highly dynamic heliosphere that the model is able to capture in good agreement with in situ observations. Finally, future horizons for the model are outlined.
  • 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.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2019)
    Aims. We study how a fast solar wind stream embedded in a slow solar wind influences the spread of solar energetic protons in interplanetary space. In particular, we aim at understanding how the particle intensity and anisotropy vary along interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines that encounter changing solar wind conditions such as the shock waves bounding a corotating interaction region (CIR). Moreover, we study how the intensities and anisotropies vary as a function of the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinate, and how the width of the particle intensities evolves with the heliographic radial distance. Furthermore, we study how cross-field diffusion may alter these spatial profiles. Methods. To model the energetic protons, we used a recently developed particle transport code that computes particle distributions in the heliosphere by solving the focused transport equation (RTE) in a stochastic manner. The particles are propagated in a solar wind containing a CIR, which was generated by the heliospheric model, EUHFORIA. We study four cases in which we assume a delta injection of 4 MeV protons spread uniformly over different regions at the inner boundary of the model. These source regions have the same size and shape, yet are shifted in longitude from each other, and are therefore magnetically connected to different solar wind conditions. Results. The intensity and anisotropy profiles along selected IMF lines vary strongly according to the different solar wind conditions encountered along the field line. The IMF lines crossing the shocks bounding the CIR show the formation of accelerated particle populations, with the reverse shock wave being a more efficient accelerator than the forward shock wave. The longitudinal intensity profiles near the CIR are highly asymmetric in contrast to the profiles obtained in a nominal solar wind. For the injection regions that do not cross the transition zone between the fast and slow solar wind, we observe a steep intensity drop of several orders of magnitude near the stream interface (SI) inside the CIR. Moreover, we demonstrate that the longitudinal width of the particle intensity distribution can increase, decrease, or remain constant with heliographic radial distance, reflecting the underlying IMF structure. Finally, we show how the deflection of the IMF at the shock waves and the compression of the IMF in the CIR deforms the three-dimensional shape of the particle distribution in such a way that the original shape of the injection profile is lost.
  • Palmerio, Erika; Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa; Kilpua, Emilia K. J.; Barnes, David; Zhukov, Andrei N.; Jian, Lan K.; Witasse, Olivier; Provan, Gabrielle; Tao, Chihiro; Lamy, Laurent; Bradley, Thomas J.; Mays, M. Leila; Moestl, Christian; Roussos, Elias; Futaana, Yoshifumi; Masters, Adam; Sanchez-Cano, Beatriz (2021)
    One of the grand challenges in heliophysics is the characterization of coronal mass ejection (CME) magnetic structure and evolution from eruption at the Sun through heliospheric propagation. At present, the main difficulties are related to the lack of direct measurements of the coronal magnetic fields and the lack of 3D in-situ measurements of the CME body in interplanetary space. Nevertheless, the evolution of a CME magnetic structure can be followed using a combination of multi-point remote-sensing observations and multi-spacecraft in-situ measurements as well as modeling. Accordingly, we present in this work the analysis of two CMEs that erupted from the Sun on April 28, 2012. We follow their eruption and early evolution using remote-sensing data, finding indications of CME-CME interaction, and then analyze their interplanetary counterpart(s) using in-situ measurements at Venus, Earth, and Saturn. We observe a seemingly single flux rope at all locations, but find possible signatures of interaction at Earth, where high-cadence plasma data are available. Reconstructions of the in-situ flux ropes provide almost identical results at Venus and Earth but show greater discrepancies at Saturn, suggesting that the CME was highly distorted and/or that further interaction with nearby solar wind structures took place before 10 AU. This work highlights the difficulties in connecting structures from the Sun to the outer heliosphere and demonstrates the importance of multi-spacecraft studies to achieve a deeper understanding of the magnetic configuration of CMEs.
  • 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.
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2019)
    Aims. We introduce a new solar energetic particle (SEP) transport code that aims at studying the effects of different background solar wind configurations on SEP events. In this work, we focus on the influence of varying solar wind velocities on the adiabatic energy changes of SEPs and study how a non-Parker background solar wind can trap particles temporarily at small heliocentric radial distances (less than or similar to 1.5AU) thereby influencing the cross-field diffusion of SEPs in the interplanetary space. Methods. Our particle transport code computes particle distributions in the heliosphere by solving the focused transport equation (FTE) in a stochastic manner. Particles are propagated in a solar wind generated by the newly developed data-driven heliospheric model, EUHFORIA. In this work, we solve the FTE, including all solar wind effects, cross-field diffusion, and magnetic-field gradient and curvature drifts. As initial conditions, we assume a delta injection of 4 MeV protons, spread uniformly over a selected region at the inner boundary of the model. To verify the model, we first propagate particles in nominal undisturbed fast and slow solar winds. Thereafter, we simulate and analyse the propagation of particles in a solar wind containing a corotating interaction region (CIR). We study the particle intensities and anisotropies measured by a fleet of virtual observers located at different positions in the heliosphere, as well as the global distribution of particles in interplanetary space. Results. The differential intensity-time profiles obtained in the simulations using the nominal Parker solar wind solutions illustrate the considerable adiabatic deceleration undergone by SEPs, especially when propagating in a fast solar wind. In the case of the solar wind containing a CIR, we observe that particles adiabatically accelerate when propagating in the compression waves bounding the CIR at small radial distances. In addition, for r greater than or similar to 1.5AU, there are particles accelerated by the reverse shock as indicated by, for example, the anisotropies and pitch-angle distributions of the particles. Moreover, a decrease in high-energy particles at the stream interface (SI) inside the CIR is observed. The compression /shock waves and the magnetic configuration near the SI may also act as a magnetic mirror, producing long-lasting high intensities at small radial distances. We also illustrate how the efficiency of the cross-field diffusion in spreading particles in the heliosphere is enhanced due to compressed magnetic fields. Finally, the inclusion of cross-field diffusion enables some particles to cross both the forward compression wave at small radial distances and the forward shock at larger radial distances. This results in the formation of an accelerated particle population centred on the forward shock, despite the lack of magnetic connection between the particle injection region and this shock wave. Particles injected in the fast solar wind stream cannot reach the forward shock since the SI acts as a diffusion barrier.
  • Rouillard, A. P.; Pinto, R. F.; Vourlidas, A.; De Groof, A.; Thompson, W. T.; Bemporad, A.; Dolei, S.; Indurain, M.; Buchlin, E.; Sasso, C.; Spadaro, D.; Dalmasse, K.; Hirzberger, J.; Zouganelis, I.; Strugarek, A.; Brun, A. S.; Alexandre, M.; Berghmans, D.; Raouafi, N. E.; Wiegelmann, T.; Pagano, P.; Arge, C. N.; Nieves-Chinchilla, T.; Lavarra, M.; Poirier, N.; Amari, T.; Aran, A.; Andretta, V.; Antonucci, E.; Anastasiadis, A.; Auchere, F.; Bellot Rubio, L.; Nicula, B.; Bonnin, X.; Bouchemit, M.; Budnik, E.; Caminade, S.; Cecconi, B.; Carlyle, J.; Cernuda, I.; Davila, J. M.; Etesi, L.; Espinosa Lara, F.; Fedorov, A.; Fineschi, S.; Fludra, A.; Genot, V.; Georgoulis, M. K.; Gilbert, H. R.; Giunta, A.; Gomez-Herrero, R.; Guest, S.; Haberreiter, M.; Hassler, D.; Henney, C. J.; Howard, R. A.; Horbury, T. S.; Janvier, M.; Jones, S. I.; Kozarev, K.; Kraaikamp, E.; Kouloumvakos, A.; Krucker, S.; Lagg, A.; Linker, J.; Lavraud, B.; Louarn, P.; Maksimovic, M.; Maloney, S.; Mann, G.; Masson, A.; Mueller, D.; Onel, H.; Osuna, P.; Orozco Suarez, D.; Owen, C. J.; Papaioannou, A.; Perez-Suarez, D.; Rodriguez-Pacheco, J.; Parenti, S.; Pariat, E.; Peter, H.; Plunkett, S.; Pomoell, J.; Raines, J. M.; Riethmueller, T. L.; Rich, N.; Rodriguez, L.; Romoli, M.; Sanchez, L.; Solanki, S. K.; St Cyr, O. C.; Straus, T.; Susino, R.; Teriaca, L.; del Toro Iniesta, J. C.; Ventura, R.; Verbeeck, C.; Vilmer, N.; Warmuth, A.; Walsh, A. P.; Watson, C.; Williams, D.; Wu, Y.; Zhukov, A. N. (2020)
    Context. The Solar Orbiter spacecraft will be equipped with a wide range of remote-sensing (RS) and in situ (IS) instruments to record novel and unprecedented measurements of the solar atmosphere and the inner heliosphere. To take full advantage of these new datasets, tools and techniques must be developed to ease multi-instrument and multi-spacecraft studies. In particular the currently inaccessible low solar corona below two solar radii can only be observed remotely. Furthermore techniques must be used to retrieve coronal plasma properties in time and in three dimensional (3D) space. Solar Orbiter will run complex observation campaigns that provide interesting opportunities to maximise the likelihood of linking IS data to their source region near the Sun. Several RS instruments can be directed to specific targets situated on the solar disk just days before data acquisition. To compare IS and RS, data we must improve our understanding of how heliospheric probes magnetically connect to the solar disk.Aims. The aim of the present paper is to briefly review how the current modelling of the Sun and its atmosphere can support Solar Orbiter science. We describe the results of a community-led effort by European Space Agency's Modelling and Data Analysis Working Group (MADAWG) to develop different models, tools, and techniques deemed necessary to test different theories for the physical processes that may occur in the solar plasma. The focus here is on the large scales and little is described with regards to kinetic processes. To exploit future IS and RS data fully, many techniques have been adapted to model the evolving 3D solar magneto-plasma from the solar interior to the solar wind. A particular focus in the paper is placed on techniques that can estimate how Solar Orbiter will connect magnetically through the complex coronal magnetic fields to various photospheric and coronal features in support of spacecraft operations and future scientific studies.Methods. Recent missions such as STEREO, provided great opportunities for RS, IS, and multi-spacecraft studies. We summarise the achievements and highlight the challenges faced during these investigations, many of which motivated the Solar Orbiter mission. We present the new tools and techniques developed by the MADAWG to support the science operations and the analysis of the data from the many instruments on Solar Orbiter.Results. This article reviews current modelling and tool developments that ease the comparison of model results with RS and IS data made available by current and upcoming missions. It also describes the modelling strategy to support the science operations and subsequent exploitation of Solar Orbiter data in order to maximise the scientific output of the mission.Conclusions. The on-going community effort presented in this paper has provided new models and tools necessary to support mission operations as well as the science exploitation of the Solar Orbiter data. The tools and techniques will no doubt evolve significantly as we refine our procedure and methodology during the first year of operations of this highly promising mission.
  • 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.
  • Scolini, C.; Rodriguez, L.; Mierla, M.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2019)
    Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the primary source of strong space weather disturbances at Earth. Their geo-effectiveness is largely determined by their dynamic pressure and internal magnetic fields, for which reliable predictions at Earth are not possible with traditional cone CME models. Aims. We study two well-observed Earth-directed CMEs using the EUropean Heliospheric FORecasting Information Asset (EUH-FORIA) model, testing for the first time the predictive capabilities of a linear force-free spheromak CME model initialised using parameters derived from remote-sensing observations. Methods. Using observation-based CME input parameters, we performed magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the events with EU-HFORIA, using the cone and spheromak CME models. Results. Simulations show that spheromak CMEs propagate faster than cone CMEs when initialised with the same kinematic parameters. We interpret these differences as the result of different Lorentz forces acting within cone and spheromak CMEs, which lead to different CME expansions in the heliosphere. Such discrepancies can be mitigated by initialising spheromak CMEs with a reduced speed corresponding to the radial speed only. Results at Earth provide evidence that the spheromak model improves the predictions of B (B-z) by up to 12-60 (22-40) percentage points compared to a cone model. Considering virtual spacecraft located within +/- 10 degrees around Earth, B (Bz) predictions reach 45-70% (58-78%) of the observed peak values. The spheromak model shows inaccurate predictions of the magnetic field parameters at Earth for CMEs propagating away from the Sun-Earth line. Conclusions. The spheromak model successfully predicts the CME properties and arrival time in the case of strictly Earth-directed events, while modelling CMEs propagating away from the Sun-Earth line requires extra care due to limitations related to the assumed spherical shape. The spatial variability of modelling results and the typical uncertainties in the reconstructed CME direction advocate the need to consider predictions at Earth and at virtual spacecraft located around it.
  • 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.
  • Kilpua, E. K. J.; Turner, D. L.; Jaynes, A.; Hietala, H.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Osmane, A.; Palmroth, M.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Vainio, R.; Baker, D.; Claudepierre, S. (2019)
    We study the response of the outer Van Allen radiation belt during an intense magnetic storm on 15-22 February 2014. Four interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) arrived at Earth, of which the three last ones were interacting. Using data from the Van Allen Probes, we report the first detailed investigation of electron fluxes from source (tens of kiloelectron volts) to core (megaelectron volts) energies and possible loss and acceleration mechanisms as a response to substructures (shock, sheath and ejecta, and regions of shock-compressed ejecta) in multiple interacting ICMEs. After an initial enhancement induced by a shock compression of the magnetosphere, core fluxes strongly depleted and stayed low for 4 days. This sustained depletion can be related to a sequence of ICME substructures and their conditions that influenced the Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, the main depletions occurred during a high-dynamic pressure sheath and shock-compressed southward ejecta fields. These structures compressed/eroded the magnetopause close to geostationary orbit and induced intense and diverse wave activity in the inner magnetosphere (ULF Pc5, electromagnetic ion cyclotron, and hiss) facilitating both effective magnetopause shadowing and precipitation losses. Seed and source electrons in turn experienced stronger variations throughout the studied interval. The core fluxes recovered during the last ICME that made a glancing blow to Earth. This period was characterized by a concurrent lack of losses and sustained acceleration by chorus and Pc5 waves. Our study highlights that the seemingly complex behavior of the outer belt during interacting ICMEs can be understood by the knowledge of electron dynamics during different substructures.
  • 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.
  • Kilpua, Emilia; Good, Simon; Ala-Lahti, Matti; Osmane, Adnane; Fontaine, D.; Hadid, L.; Janvier, M.; Yordanova, E. (2021)
    We report a statistical analysis of magnetic field fluctuations in 79 coronal mass ejection(CME-) driven sheath regions that were observed in the near-Earth solar wind. Wind highresolution magnetic field data were used to investigate 2 h regions adjacent to the shock and ejecta leading edge (Near-Shock and Near-LE regions, respectively), and the results were compared with a 2 h region upstreamof the shock. The inertial-range spectral indices in the sheaths are found to be mostly steeper than the Kolmogorov -5/3 index and steeper than in the solar wind ahead. We did not find indications of an f(-1) spectrum, implying that magnetic fluctuation properties in CME sheaths differ significantly from planetary magnetosheaths and that CME-driven shocks do not reset the solar wind turbulence, as appears to happen downstream of planetary bow shocks. However, our study suggests that new compressible fluctuations are generated in the sheath for a wide variety of shock/upstream conditions. Fluctuation properties particularly differed between the Near-Shock region and the solar wind ahead. A strong positive correlation in the mean magnetic compressibility was found between the upstream and downstream regions, but the compressibility values in the sheaths were similar to those in the slow solar wind (
  • Wijsen, N.; Aran, A.; Sanahuja, B.; Pomoell, J.; Poedts, S. (2020)
    Aims. We study the effect of the magnetic gradient and curvature drifts on the pitch-angle dependent transport of solar energetic particles (SEPs) in the heliosphere, focussing on similar to 3-36 MeV protons. By considering observers located at different positions in the heliosphere, we investigate how drifts may alter the measured intensity-time profiles and energy spectra. We focus on the decay phase of solar energetic proton events in which a temporal invariant spectrum and disappearing spatial intensity gradients are often observed; a phenomenon known as the "reservoir effect" or the "SEP flood". We study the effects of drifts by propagating particles both in nominal and non-nominal solar wind conditions.Methods. We used a three-dimensional (3D) particle transport model, solving the focused transport equation extended with the effect of particle drifts in the spatial term. Nominal Parker solar wind configurations of different speeds and a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generated solar wind containing a corotating interaction region (CIR) were considered. The latter configuration gives rise to a magnetic bottle structure, with one bottleneck at the Sun and the other at the CIR. We inject protons from a fixed source at 0.1 AU, the inner boundary of the MHD model.Results. When the drift induced particle net-flux is zero, the modelled intensity-time profiles obtained at different radial distances along an IMF line show the same intensity fall-off after the prompt phase of the particle event, which is in accordance with the SEP flood phenomenon. However, observers magnetically connected close to the edges of the particle injection site can experience, as a result of drifts, a sudden drop in the intensities occurring at different times for different energies such that no SEP flood phenomenon is established. In the magnetic bottle structure, this effect is enhanced due to the presence of magnetic field gradients strengthening the nominal particle drifts. Moreover, anisotropies can be large for observers that only receive particles through drifts, illustrating the importance of pitch-angle dependent 3D particle modelling. We observe that interplanetary cross-field diffusion can mitigate the effects of particle drifts.Conclusions. Particle drifts can substantially modify the decay phase of SEP events, especially if the solar wind contains compression regions or shock waves where the drifts are enhanced. This is, for example, the case for our CIR solar wind configuration generated with a 3D MHD model, where the effect of drifts is strong. A similar decay rate in different energy channels and for different observers requires the mitigation of the effect of drifts. One way to accomplish this is through interplanetary cross-field diffusion, suggesting thus a way to determine a minimum value for the cross-field diffusion strength.
  • Sanchez-Diaz, E.; Rouillard, A. P.; Davies, J. A.; Lavraud, B.; Pinto, R. F.; Kilpua, E. (2017)
    In a recent study, we took advantage of a highly tilted coronal neutral sheet to show that density structures, extending radially over several solar radii (R-s), are released in the forming slow solar wind approximately 4-5 R-s above the solar surface. We related the signatures of this formation process to intermittent magnetic reconnection occurring continuously above helmet streamers. We now exploit the heliospheric imagery from the Solar Terrestrial Relation Observatory (STEREO) to map the spatial and temporal distribution of the ejected structures. We demonstrate that streamers experience quasi-periodic bursts of activity with the simultaneous outpouring of small transients over a large range of latitudes in the corona. This cyclic activity leads to the emergence of well-defined and broad structures. Derivation of the trajectories and kinematic properties of the individual small transients that make up these large-scale structures confirms their association with the forming slow solar wind (SSW). We find that these transients are released, on average, every 19.5 hr, simultaneously at all latitudes with a typical radial size of 12 R-s. Their spatial distribution, release rate, and three-dimensional extent are used to estimate the contribution of this cyclic activity to the mass flux carried outward by the SSW. Our results suggest that, in interplanetary space, the global structure of the heliospheric current sheet is dominated by a succession of blobs and associated flux ropes. We demonstrate this with an example event using STEREO-A in situ measurements.
  • Roberts, Owen Wyn; Alexandrova, O.; Kajdic, P.; Turc, L.; Perrone, D.; Escoubet, C. P.; Walsh, A. (2017)
    At electron scales, the power spectrum of solar-wind magnetic fluctuations can be highly variable and the dissipation mechanisms of the magnetic energy into the various particle species is under debate. In this paper, we investigate data from the Cluster mission's STAFF Search Coil magnetometer when the level of turbulence is sufficiently high that the morphology of the power spectrum at electron scales can be investigated. The Cluster spacecraft sample a disturbed interval of plasma where two streams of solar wind interact. Meanwhile, several discontinuities (coherent structures) are seen in the large-scale magnetic field, while at small scales several intermittent bursts of wave activity (whistler waves) are present. Several different morphologies of the power spectrum can be identified: (1) two power laws separated by a break, (2) an exponential cutoff near the Taylor shifted electron scales, and (3) strong spectral knees at the Taylor shifted electron scales. These different morphologies are investigated by using wavelet coherence, showing that, in this interval, a clear break and strong spectral knees are features that are associated with sporadic quasi parallel propagating whistler waves, even for short times. On the other hand, when no signatures of whistler waves at similar to 0.1-0.2f(ce) are present, a clear break is difficult to find and the spectrum is often more characteristic of a power law with an exponential cutoff.