Articles | Volume 28, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 28, 203–215, 2010

Special issue: Three eyes on the Sun – multi-spacecraft studies of...

Ann. Geophys., 28, 203–215, 2010

  20 Jan 2010

20 Jan 2010

On the 3-D reconstruction of Coronal Mass Ejections using coronagraph data

M. Mierla1,2, B. Inhester3, A. Antunes4, Y. Boursier5,6, J. P. Byrne7, R. Colaninno8, J. Davila9, C. A. de Koning10, P. T. Gallagher7, S. Gissot2, R. A. Howard4, T. A. Howard11,12, M. Kramar13, P. Lamy5, P. C. Liewer14, S. Maloney7, C. Marqué2, R. T. J. McAteer7, T. Moran9, L. Rodriguez2, N. Srivastava15, O. C. St. Cyr9, G. Stenborg16, M. Temmer17, A. Thernisien18, A. Vourlidas4, M. J. West2, B. E. Wood4, and A. N. Zhukov2,19 M. Mierla et al.
  • 1Institute of Geodynamics of the Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2Solar-Terrestrial Center of Excellence – SIDC, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
  • 4Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., USA
  • 5Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France
  • 6Signal Processing Institute, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 7Astrophysics Research Group, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
  • 8George Mason University, Fairfax, USA
  • 9NASA – Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, USA
  • 10CIRES-SWPC, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 11Air Force Research Laboratory, National Solar Observatory, Sunspot, NM 88349, USA
  • 12Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
  • 13Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., USA
  • 14Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
  • 15Udaipur Solar Observatory, Physical Research Laboratory, Udaipur, India
  • 16Interferometrics, Inc., Herndon, USA
  • 17Kanzelhöhe Observatory/IGAM, Institute of Physics, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  • 18Universities of Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 19Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. Coronal Mass ejections (CMEs) are enormous eruptions of magnetized plasma expelled from the Sun into the interplanetary space, over the course of hours to days. They can create major disturbances in the interplanetary medium and trigger severe magnetic storms when they collide with the Earth's magnetosphere. It is important to know their real speed, propagation direction and 3-D configuration in order to accurately predict their arrival time at the Earth. Using data from the SECCHI coronagraphs onboard the STEREO mission, which was launched in October 2006, we can infer the propagation direction and the 3-D structure of such events. In this review, we first describe different techniques that were used to model the 3-D configuration of CMEs in the coronagraph field of view (up to 15 R⊙). Then, we apply these techniques to different CMEs observed by various coronagraphs. A comparison of results obtained from the application of different reconstruction algorithms is presented and discussed.