Space weather forecast accuracy depends on Sun’s Coronal Mass Ejections: Study

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admin November 8, 2021
Updated 2021/11/08 at 3:23 PM

Space weather forecast accuracy is influenced by conditions and occurrences in the solar atmosphere, such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are critical for satellite health. According to research, this knowledge will help interpret data from India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1, which will launch in 2018.

The circumstances in the solar wind and near-Earth space that may degrade the functioning of space-borne and ground-based technological equipment are referred to as space weather. CMEs, which are regular explosive expulsions of large quantities of magnetised plasma from the Sun into its surrounds, which may blow past the Earth, are the primary cause of space weather near the Earth, according to research published recently.

A geomagnetic storm, which is a disruption in the Earth’s magnetic field that may last anywhere from a few hours to many days, is an example of space weather occurrences. The ability to monitor and repair our satellites requires an understanding of how events in the solar environment affect space weather.

According to a Science and Technology Ministry release, astronomers led by Dr. Wageesh Mishra of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bengaluru, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, demonstrated that plasma properties and Earth arrival times of CMEs from the Sun can vary significantly with longitudinal locations in interplanetary space.

Kunjal Dave of Gujarat’s C.U. Shah University, Professor Nandita Srivastava of Udaipur’s Physical Research Laboratory, and Professor Luca Teriaca of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research are co-authors on this study, which was published in the Royal Astronomy Journal’s monthly notices.

The researchers looked at Earth-directed CMEs as well as their interplanetary counterparts in this study (ICMEs). They recreated a 3D picture of the CMEs and ICMEs using publicly accessible plasma data taken in situ at three sites in the solar system: two NASA’s STEREO spacecraft and the LASCO coronagraph aboard SOHO, which is situated near the first Lagrangian point (L1) on the Sun-Earth line.

“The ICMEs of March 11 and August 6, 2011, are the two occurrences that serve as the foundation for this research (which is when they arrived at Earth). The research looked at the variations in ICME structure dynamics, arrival time, plasma, and magnetic field characteristics at various regions in the heliosphere where different satellites are situated, using multi-point remote and in situ measurements “According to the announcement.

The solar wind, which is a continuous stream of charged particles emitted by the Sun, was perfect for investigating the impacts of CME shocks travelling through the solar wind, according to the researchers.

“We discovered that the plasma properties and arrival timings of a CME-driven shock propagating in a pre-conditioned inhomogeneous medium may vary at various longitudinal positions in the heliosphere,” said Mishra, the study’s main author.

The research emphasises the challenges of linking local observations of an ICME from a single in situ satellite to global structures, as well as the difficulty of accurately predicting big CME structures at any point in the heliosphere. It was emphasised that a lack of knowledge about the pre-conditioned ambient solar wind medium may significantly restrict the accuracy of CME arrival timing and space weather forecasting. The interpretation of data from space missions will be aided by this new knowledge, according to the statement.

 

Source: The Times of India

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