Volume 652, August 2021
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||27 August 2021|
2019 International Women’s Day event
Two-step solar flare with multiple eruptive signatures and low Earth impact⋆
Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb, Kaciceva 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2 University of Graz, Institute of Physics, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
3 University of Graz, Kanzelhöhe Observatory for Solar and Environmental Research, Kanzelhöhe 19, 9521 Treffen, Austria
4 Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Bolshoy Boulevard 30, bld. 1, Moscow 121205, Russia
5 NorthWest Research Associates, 3380 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
6 Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence – SIDC, Royal Observatory of Belgium, 3 Avenue Circulaire, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
7 Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
8 School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, JinZhai Rd. 96, 230026 Hefei, PR China
Accepted: 18 June 2021
Context. We present a detailed analysis of an eruptive event that occurred on 2019 March 8 in the active region AR 12734, which we refer as the International Women’s Day event. The event under study is intriguing based on several aspects: (1) low-coronal eruptive signatures come in ‘pairs’, namely, there is a double-peaked flare, two coronal dimmings, and two extreme ultraviolet (EUV) waves; (2) although the event is characterized by a complete chain of eruptive signatures, the corresponding coronagraphic signatures are weak; and (3) although the source region of the eruption is located close to the center of the solar disc and the eruption is thus presumably Earth-directed, heliospheric signatures are very weak with very weak Earth impact.
Aims. In order to understand the initiation and evolution of this particular event, we performed a comprehensive analysis using a combined observational-modeling approach.
Methods. We analyzed a number of multi-spacecraft and multi-instrument (both remote-sensing and in situ) observations, including soft X-ray, EUV, radio and white-light emission, as well as plasma, magnetic field, and particle measurements. We employed 3D nonlinear force-free modeling to investigate the coronal magnetic field configuration in and around the active region, the graduated cylindrical shell model to make a 3D reconstruction of the CME geometry, and the 3D magnetohydrodynamical numerical model EUropean Heliospheric FORecasting Information Asset to model the background state of the heliosphere.
Results. Our results reveal a two-stage C1.3 flare, associated with two EUV waves that occur in close succession and two-stage coronal dimmings that evolve co-temporally with the flare and type II and III radio bursts. Despite its small GOES class, a clear drop in magnetic free energy and helicity is observed during the flare. White light observations do not unambiguously indicate two separate CMEs, but rather a single entity most likely composed of two sheared and twisted structures corresponding to the two eruptions observed in the low corona. The corresponding interplanetary signatures are that of a small flux rope swith indications of strong interactions with the ambient plasma, which result in a negligible geomagnetic impact.
Conclusions. Our results indicate two subsequent eruptions of two systems of sheared and twisted magnetic fields, which already begin to merge in the upper corona and start to evolve further out as a single entity. The large-scale magnetic field significantly influences both the early and the interplanetary evolution of the structure. During the first eruption, the stability of the overlying field was disrupted, enabling the second eruption. We find that during the propagation in the interplanetary space the large-scale magnetic field, that is, the location of heliospheric current sheet between the AR and the Earth, is likely to influence propagation, along with the evolution of the erupted structure(s).
Key words: Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: flares / Sun: magnetic fields
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© ESO 2021
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