Volume 652, August 2021
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||04 August 2021|
Modelling a multi-spacecraft coronal mass ejection encounter with EUHFORIA
University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
2 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Institute of Physics, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
4 Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
5 CPAESS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
6 Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
7 Institute of Physics, University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska, ul. Radziszewskiego 10, 20-031 Lublin, Poland
8 Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence – SIDC, Royal Observatory of Belgium, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Accepted: 26 April 2021
Context. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are a manifestation of the Sun’s eruptive nature. They can have a great impact on Earth, but also on human activity in space and on the ground. Therefore, modelling their evolution as they propagate through interplanetary space is essential.
Aims. EUropean Heliospheric FORecasting Information Asset (EUHFORIA) is a data-driven, physics-based model, tracing the evolution of CMEs through background solar wind conditions. It employs a spheromak flux rope, which provides it with the advantage of reconstructing the internal magnetic field configuration of CMEs. This is something that is not included in the simpler cone CME model used so far for space weather forecasting. This work aims at assessing the spheromak CME model included in EUHFORIA.
Methods. We employed the spheromak CME model to reconstruct a well observed CME and compare model output to in situ observations. We focus on an eruption from 6 January 2013 that was encountered by two radially aligned spacecraft, Venus Express and STEREO-A. We first analysed the observed properties of the source of this CME eruption and we extracted the CME properties as it lifted off from the Sun. Using this information, we set up EUHFORIA runs to model the event.
Results. The model predicts arrival times from half to a full day ahead of the in situ observed ones, but within errors established from similar studies. In the modelling domain, the CME appears to be propagating primarily southward, which is in accordance with white-light images of the CME eruption close to the Sun.
Conclusions. In order to get the observed magnetic field topology, we aimed at selecting a spheromak rotation angle for which the axis of symmetry of the spheromak is perpendicular to the direction of the polarity inversion line (PIL). The modelled magnetic field profiles, their amplitude, arrival times, and sheath region length are all affected by the choice of radius of the modelled spheromak.
Key words: Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: heliosphere / Sun: magnetic fields / solar-terrestrial relations / solar wind / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
© E. Asvestari et al. 2021
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