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Determining the Intrinsic CME Flux Rope Type Using Remote-sensing Solar Disk Observations  

Erika Palmerio   Submitted: 2017-01-31 02:16

A key aim in space weather research is to be able to use remote-sensing observations of the solar atmosphere to extend the lead time of predicting the geoeffectiveness of a coronal mass ejection (CME). In order to achieve this, the magnetic structure of the CME as it leaves the Sun must be known. In this article we address this issue by developing a method to determine the intrinsic flux rope type of a CME solely from solar disk observations. We use several well known proxies for the magnetic helicity sign, the axis orientation, and the axial magnetic field direction to predict the magnetic structure of the interplanetary flux rope. We present two case studies: the 2 June 2011 and the 14 June 2012 CMEs. Both of these events erupted from an active region and, despite having clear in situ counterparts, their eruption characteristics were relatively complex. The first event was associated with an active region filament that erupted in two stages, while for the other event the eruption originated from a relatively high coronal altitude and the source region did not feature the presence of a filament. Our magnetic helicity sign proxies include the analysis of magnetic tongues, soft X-ray and/or extreme-ultraviolet sigmoids, coronal arcade skew, filament emission and absorption threads, and filament rotation. Since the inclination of the post-eruption arcades was not clear, we use the tilt of the polarity inversion line to determine the flux rope axis orientation, and coronal dimmings to determine the flux rope footpoints and, therefore, the direction of the axial magnetic field. The comparison of the estimated intrinsic flux rope structure to in situ observations at the Lagrangian point L1 indicated a good agreement with the predictions. Our results highlight the flux rope type determination techniques that are particularly useful for active region eruptions, where most geoeffective CMEs originate.

Authors: Palmerio, E., Kilpua, E. K. J., James, A. W., Green, L. M., Pomoell, J., Isavnin, A., and Valori, G.
Projects: GONG,Hinode/XRT,SDO-AIA,SDO-HMI,Wind

Publication Status: accepted for publication in Solar Physics
Last Modified: 2017-01-31 11:46
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Determining the Intrinsic CME Flux Rope Type Using Remote-sensing Solar Disk Observations

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