The CME Heard 'Round the Solar System

  • Released Friday, November 30th, 2018
  • Updated Thursday, January 25th, 2024 at 12:10AM
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Energetic events at the Sun can reverberate around the solar system.

This visualization combines data from particle detectors around the solar system with an Enlil simulation of multiple coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in early September 2017. The Enlil model extends from 0.1 astronomical units (AUs) from the Sun (this is reponsible for the empty region around the Sun at the center of the system) out to 5 AUs.

Stream Interaction Regions (SIRs) are created by the interaction at boundaries between the fast and slow solar wind (usually defined by coronal holes). In this model, they are represented by blue spirals streaming out from the sun at the center.

Active Region 12673 erupted with several X-class flares and CMEs on September 9-10, 2017. The initial CME was slow (500 km/s) and the subsequent CMEs were faster (1000 km/s and 2600 km/s, respectively). Eventually the CMEs merged together and continued outward.

At Earth, the particle detector on GOES detects the initial flare. The energetic proton flux decays with time and has a sharper decrease as the CME and SIR pass Earth.

The initial flare is also detected at Mars by Mars EXpress, after which the flux declines. The flux experiences an additional sharp drop as the CME passes Mars.

There is a small flux increase at STEREO-A at the time of the flare. However, the flux increases dramatically as the SIR passes, then slowly decays.

First frame of the visualization, illustrating regions of high temperature (red), high particle density (green), and the stream interaction region (SIR, blue).

First frame of the visualization, illustrating regions of high temperature (red), high particle density (green), and the stream interaction region (SIR, blue).

Color bar representing changes in plasma density, in atomic mass units (AMU) per cubic centimeter. This is roughly equal to the number of hydrogen ions per cubic centimeter.

Color bar representing changes in plasma density, in atomic mass units (AMU) per cubic centimeter. This is roughly equal to the number of hydrogen ions per cubic centimeter.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio and the Community-Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC), Enlil and Dusan Odstrcil (GMU).


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