Coronal Magnetic Structure of Earthbound CMEs and In Situ Comparison

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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 , ' Coronal Magnetic Structure of Earthbound CMEs and In Situ Comparison ' , Space Weather , vol. 16 , no. 5 , pp. 442-460 .

Title: Coronal Magnetic Structure of Earthbound CMEs and In Situ Comparison
Author: Palmerio, E.; Kilpua, E. K. J.; Möstl, C.; Bothmer, V.; James, A. W.; Green, L. M.; Isavnin, A.; Davies, J. A.; Harrison, R. A.
Contributor organization: Department of Physics
Doctoral Programme in Particle Physics and Universe Sciences
Space Physics Research Group
Date: 2018-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Space Weather
ISSN: 1542-7390
Abstract: 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.
Subject: coronal mass ejections
solar wind
magnetic field
flux ropes
115 Astronomy, Space science
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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