Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins

Laurel, MD, United States

Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins

Laurel, MD, United States
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Mays M.L.,Catholic University of America | Mays M.L.,NASA | Thompson B.J.,NASA | Jian L.K.,NASA | And 14 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

On 2014 January 7 an X1.2 flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) with a radial speed ≈2500 km s-1 was observed from near an active region close to disk center. This led many forecasters to estimate a rapid arrival at Earth (≈36 hr) and predict a strong geomagnetic storm. However, only a glancing CME arrival was observed at Earth with a transit time of ≈49 hr and a KP geomagnetic index of only 3-. We study the interplanetary propagation of this CME using the ensemble Wang-Sheeley-Arge (WSA)-ENLIL+Cone model, that allows a sampling of CME parameter uncertainties. We explore a series of simulations to isolate the effects of the background solar wind solution, CME shape, tilt, location, size, and speed, and the results are compared with observed in situ arrivals at Venus, Earth, and Mars. Our results show that a tilted ellipsoid CME shape improves the initial real-time prediction to better reflect the observed in situ signatures and the geomagnetic storm strength. CME parameters from the Graduated Cylindrical Shell model used as input to WSA-ENLIL+Cone, along with a tilted ellipsoid cloud shape, improve the arrival-time error by 14.5, 18.7, 23.4 hr for Venus, Earth, and Mars respectively. These results highlight that CME orientation and directionality with respect to observatories play an important role in understanding the propagation of this CME, and for forecasting other glancing CME arrivals. This study also demonstrates the importance of three-dimensional CME fitting made possible by multiple viewpoint imaging. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

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