EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 432, Number 1, March II 2005
Page(s) 331 - 339
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042005

A&A 432, 331-339 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042005

On the effect of the initial magnetic polarity and of the background wind on the evolution of CME shocks

E. Chané, C. Jacobs, B. Van der Holst, S. Poedts and D. Kimpe

Centre for Plasma Astrophysics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
    e-mail: Emmanuel.Chane@wis.kuleuven.ac.be

(Received 14 September 2004 / Accepted 3 November 2004)

The shocks and magnetic clouds caused by Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the solar corona and interplanetary (IP) space play an important role in the study of space weather. In the present paper, numerical simulations of some simple CME models were performed by means of a finite volume, explicit solver to advance the equations of ideal magnetohydrodynamics. The aim is to quantify here both the effect of the background wind model and of the initial polarity on the evolution of the IP CMEs and the corresponding shocks.

To simulate the CMEs, a high density-pressure plasma blob is superposed on different steady state solar wind models. The evolution of an initially non-magnetized plasma blob is compared with that of two magnetized ones (with both normal and inverse polarity) and the differences are analysed and quantified. Depending on the launch angle of the CME and the polarity of the initial flux rope, the velocity of the shock front and magnetic cloud is decreased or increased. Also the spread angle of the CME and the evolution path of the CME in the background solar wind is substantially different for the different CME models and the different wind models. A quantitative comparison of these simulations shows that these effects can be quite substantial and can clearly affect the geo-effectiveness and the arrival time of the events.

Key words: Sun: solar wind -- Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

© ESO 2005