Volume 656, December 2021
Solar Orbiter First Results (Cruise Phase)
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||14 December 2021|
Study of two interacting interplanetary coronal mass ejections encountered by Solar Orbiter during its first perihelion passage
Observations and modeling⋆
National Institute for Astrophysics, Astrophysical Observatory of Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
2 Space Science Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
3 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
4 Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
5 Institute of Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Steyrergasse 30, 8010 Graz, Austria
6 University of Alabama, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
7 University of Alabama, Department of Space Science, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
8 Institute of Physics, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
9 Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London, SW7 2AZ, UK
10 Italian Space Agency, Via del Politecnico snc, 00133 Roma, Italy
11 Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden
12 National Research Council, Institute for the Science and Technology of Plasmas, Via Amendola 122/D, 70126 Bari, Italy
13 Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics, Kiel University, 24118 Kiel, Germany
14 National Institute for Astrophysics, Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma, Italy
15 National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, c/o University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
16 Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, École Centrale de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSA de Lyon, 69134 Écully, France
17 University of Calabria, Department of Physics, Ponte P. Bucci Cubo 31C, 87036 Rende, Italy
18 Universidad de Alcalá, Space Research Group, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
19 University of Florence, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Via Giovanni Sansone 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
20 Laboratoire d’Etudes Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique, Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
21 Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Bocni II 1401, 14131 Prague, Czech Republic
22 Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, École Polytechnique, Sorbonne Université, Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau, France
23 Laboratoire de Physique et de Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 3A avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, 45071 Orléans, France
24 Université d’Orléans, Château de la Source, 6 avenue du Parc Floral, 45100 Orléans, France
25 Radboud Radio Lab., Department of Astrophysics, Radboud University, 6500 Nijmegen, The Netherlands
26 European Space Agency, European Space Research and Technology Centre, PO Box 299, 2200 Noordwijk, The Netherlands
27 European Space Agency, European Space Astronomy Centre, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, Urb. Villafranca del Castillo, 28692 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
28 National Institute for Astrophysics, Astronomical Observatory of Trieste, Loc. Basovizza 302, 34149 Trieste, Italy
Accepted: 24 June 2021
Context. Solar Orbiter, the new-generation mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric exploration, was successfully launched on February 10, 2020, 04:03 UTC from Cape Canaveral. During its first perihelion passage in June 2020, two successive interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs), propagating along the heliospheric current sheet (HCS), impacted the spacecraft.
Aims. This paper addresses the investigation of the ICMEs encountered by Solar Orbiter on June 7−8, 2020, from both an observational and a modeling perspective. The aim is to provide a full description of those events, their mutual interaction, and their coupling with the ambient solar wind and the HCS.
Methods. Data acquired by the MAG magnetometer, the Energetic Particle Detector suite, and the Radio and Plasma Waves instrument are used to provide information on the ICMEs’ magnetic topology configuration, their magnetic connectivity to the Sun, and insights into the heliospheric plasma environment where they travel, respectively. On the modeling side, the Heliospheric Upwind eXtrapolation model, the 3D COronal Rope Ejection technique, and the EUropean Heliospheric FORecasting Information Asset (EUHFORIA) tool are used to complement Solar Orbiter observations of the ambient solar wind and ICMEs, and to simulate the evolution and interaction of the ejecta in the inner heliosphere, respectively.
Results. Both data analysis and numerical simulations indicate that the passage of two distinct, dynamically and magnetically interacting (via magnetic reconnection processes) ICMEs at Solar Orbiter is a possible scenario, supported by the numerous similarities between EUHFORIA time series at Solar Orbiter and Solar Orbiter data.
Conclusions. The combination of in situ measurements and numerical simulations (together with remote sensing observations of the corona and inner heliosphere) will significantly lead to a deeper understanding of the physical processes occurring during the CME-CME interaction.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: evolution / Sun: heliosphere / solar wind / solar-terrestrial relations
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© ESO 2021
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