A team from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) along with its international collaborators has developed a new model of the internal thermal evolution of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), as they travel from the Sun towards the Earth.
This has helped to disclose the heat budget of CMEs and their transactions during the dynamic evolution of CMEs. “The study can help track the thermal histories of solar CMEs and predict the impact of space weather on planets in our solar system,” says the Department of Science and Technology.
CMEs are massive eruptions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s outer atmosphere. “If CMEs are aimed at Earth, they can negatively affect space weather and our planet’s space infrastructure. “It is not yet understood how hot a CME starts out from the sun and how it cools as it reaches Earth,” the department said.
He added that currently performed near-Sun spectroscopic observations (and near-Earth in situ observations) are not sufficient to understand the evolution of CMEs at intermediate/interplanetary distances between the Sun and Earth.
“Starting a new research trend, our study derived a comprehensive evolution profile of CME thermodynamic parameters by taking advantage of the analytical model called Flux Rope Internal State (FRIS). The indigenously developed model takes input from wide-field coronagraphic white light observations,” said Soumyaranjan Khuntia, lead author and PhD student at the IIA.
The research applied the model to two specific CMEs that emerged from the sun in the past and had data from multiple telescopes and spacecraft.
Using data from NASA and ESA space missions such as SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Relation Observatory), SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory), along with a locally developed analytical model, the team was able establish a fact worth mentioning. on differential heating in CMEs that have different kinematics across interplanetary space.