About this Research Topic
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), originated on the Sun, are known to be the main drivers of space weather on the Earth. When the CMEs are directed towards the Earth, they can produce severe impacts upon their arrival at the Earth by compressing the magnetosphere and reconnecting with the Earth’s magnetic field leading to adverse effects on technological systems, e.g., disruption of power grids, navigation, and communication.
Accurate and reliable prediction of space weather is based on the identification of the key solar and interplanetary parameters that are responsible for the geoffectiveness of CMEs. Any space weather prediction model should be capable to predict the CME arrival time at the Earth and the magnitude of resulting geomagnetic storms. It involves accurate estimation of CME properties and their evolution during their propagation from the Sun to the Earth. This is challenging as a CME undergoes dynamical evolution by interacting with the ambient interplanetary medium.
Considerable progress has been achieved by researchers via the development of semi-empirical/analytical models (Drag-Based Model)/numerical simulations and Magnetohydrodynamic models (e.g., ENLIL, EUHFORIA), combined with observational techniques, such as interplanetary scintillation, wide-angle heliospheric imaging, and radio waves. However, there is no model developed yet that can accurately predict the CME arrival times and its geoeffectiveness.
CMEs are considered to propagate as magnetic flux ropes from the Sun to the Earth so that the magnetic field of the CME can be predicted at any point in the inner heliosphere. However, due to the lack of the CME magnetic field observations close to the Sun, estimating the magnetic field orientation of the CME at 1 AU, is a major problem for forecasting.
The impact of a single CME on the Earth’s magnetosphere can be predicted to some extent with reliability. However, in the case of multiple CMEs, they may merge to form “complex ejecta”, often resulting in severe space weather effects.
Recent observations have also revealed a new class of CMEs i.e. “stealth CMEs” which lack typical low coronal eruptive signatures and may lead to “problem geomagnetic storms.” Studies to understand these stealth CMEs, and their propagation in the interplanetary medium need to be addressed.
In this Research Topic, we invite observational data analysis, theoretical modeling efforts as well as research work relevant to the development of tools for forecasting the space weather. The research contributions will include Review Articles, and Original Research Articles based on ongoing space missions and also recently launched solar missions such as Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter. The topics that this Research Topic can cover are listed below:
• CME propagation and acceleration models and their validation
• Key model input parameters for forecasting the arrival of Solar Energetic Particle (SEPs)
• CMEs, their interaction, and their geoeffectiveness
• Prediction of the southward component of interplanetary magnetic field Bz
• Prediction of CMEs arrival times at L1 or at any spacecraft
• Forecasting the CME impact or geoffectiveness
• Stealth CMEs: Solar origins of problem geomagnetic storms
Keywords: Coronal Mass Ejections, Geomagnetic storms, Solar Wind, Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections, Magnetic flux rope, Solar Energetic Particles
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.