ARRIVAL TIME CALCULATION FOR INTERPLANETARY CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS WITH CIRCULAR FRONTS AND APPLICATION TO STEREO OBSERVATIONS OF THE 2009 FEBRUARY 13 ERUPTION
One of the goals of the NASA Solar TErestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission is to study the feasibility of forecasting the direction, arrival time, and internal structure of solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from a vantage point outside the Sun–Earth line. Through a case study, we discuss the arrival time calculation of interplanetary CMEs (ICMEs) in the ecliptic plane using data from STEREO/SECCHI at large elongations from the Sun in combination with different geometric assumptions about the ICME front shape [fixed-Φ (FP): a point and harmonic mean (HM): a circle]. These forecasting techniques use single-spacecraft imaging data and are based on the assumption of constant velocity and direction. We show that for the slow (350 km s−1) ICME on 2009 February 13–18, observed at quadrature by the two STEREO spacecraft, the results for the arrival time given by the HM approximation are more accurate by 12 hr than those for FP in comparison to in situ observations of solar wind plasma and magnetic field parameters by STEREO/IMPACT/PLASTIC, and by 6 hr for the arrival time at Venus Express (MAG). We propose that the improvement is directly related to the ICME front shape being more accurately described by HM for an ICME with a low inclination of its symmetry axis to the ecliptic. In this case, the ICME has to be tracked to >30° elongation to obtain arrival time errors < ± 5 hr. A newly derived formula for calculating arrival times with the HM method is also useful for a triangulation technique assuming the same geometry.
The Astrophysical Journal
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
C. Möstl, T. Rollett, N. Lugaz, C. J. Farrugia, J. A. Davies, M. Temmer, A. M. Veronig, R. A. Harrison, S. Crothers, J. G. Luhmann, A. B. Galvin, T. L. Zhang, W. Baumjohann, and H. K. Biernat. ARRIVAL TIME CALCULATION FOR INTERPLANETARY CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS WITH CIRCULAR FRONTS AND APPLICATION TO STEREO OBSERVATIONS OF THE 2009 FEBRUARY 13 ERUPTION. Astrophysical Journal. 741:34-34. 2011