Propagation Of Coronal Mass Ejections From The Sun To Earth

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
October 8, 2022
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Propagation Of Coronal Mass Ejections From The Sun To Earth
Space weather

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), as they can inject a large amounts of mass and magnetic flux into the interplanetary space, are the primary source of space weather phenomena on the Earth.

The present review first briefly introduces the solar surface signatures of the origins of CMEs and then focuses on the attempts to understand the kinematic evolution of CMEs from the Sun to the Earth. CMEs have been observed in the solar corona in white-light from a series of space missions over the last five decades. In particular, LASCO/SOHO has provided almost continuous coverage of CMEs for more than two solar cycles until today. However, the observations from LASCO suffered from projection effects and limited field of view (within 30 Rs from the Sun).

The launch in 2006 of the twin STEREO spacecraft made possible multiple viewpoints imaging observations, which enabled us to assess the projection effects on CMEs. Moreover, heliospheric imagers (HIs) onboard STEREO continuously observed the large and unexplored distance gap between the Sun and Earth. Finally, the Earth-directed CMEs that before have been routinely identified only near the Earth at 1 AU in in situ observations from ACE and WIND, could also be identified at longitudes away from the Sun-Earth line using the in situ instruments onboard STEREO.

Our review presents the frequently used methods for estimation of the kinematics of CMEs and their arrival time at 1 AU using primarily SOHO and STEREO observations. We emphasize the need of deriving the three-dimensional (3D) properties of Earth-directed CMEs from the locations away from the Sun-Earth line. The results improving the CME arrival time prediction at Earth and the open issues holding back progress are also discussed.

Finally, we summarize the importance of heliospheric imaging and discuss the path forward to achieve improved space weather forecasting.

Wageesh Mishra, Luca Teriaca

Comments: 41 pages, 13 figures, accepted for publication in the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Space Physics (
Cite as: arXiv:2210.02782 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:2210.02782v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Wageesh Mishra
[v1] Thu, 6 Oct 2022 09:46:31 UTC (4,921 KB)

Space Weather

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