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CMEs and SEPs During November-December 2020: A Challenge for Real-Time Space Weather Forecasting

AuthorPalmerio, Erika; Lee, Christina; Mays, Leila; Luhmann, Janet; Lario, David; anchez-Cano, Beatriz; Richardson, Ian; Vainio, Rami; Stevens, Michael; Cohen, Christina; Steinvall, Konrad; Möstl, Christian; Weiss, Andreas; Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa; Li, Yan; Larson, Davin; Heyner, Daniel; Bale, Stuart; Galvin, Antoinette; Holmström, Mats; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Maksimovic, Milan; Mitrofanov, Igor;
KeywordsParker Data Used; coronal mass ejections; Solar energetic particles; space weather forecasts; MHD models; Inner heliosphere; Solar wind; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics; Physics - Space Physics
AbstractPredictions of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) are a central issue in space weather forecasting. In recent years, interest in space weather predictions has expanded to include impacts at other planets beyond Earth as well as spacecraft scattered throughout the heliosphere. In this sense, the scope of space weather science now encompasses the whole heliospheric system, and multipoint measurements of solar transients can provide useful insights and validations for prediction models. In this work, we aim to analyze the whole inner heliospheric context between two eruptive flares that took place in late 2020, that is, the M4.4 flare of 29 November and the C7.4 flare of 7 December. This period is especially interesting because the STEREO-A spacecraft was located \ensuremath\sim60\textdegree east of the Sun- Earth line, giving us the opportunity to test the capabilities of predictions at 360\textdegree using remote-sensing observations from the Lagrange L1 and L5 points as input. We simulate the CMEs that were ejected during our period of interest and the SEPs accelerated by their shocks using the WSA- Enlil-SEPMOD modeling chain and four sets of input parameters, forming a mini-ensemble. We validate our results using in situ observations at six locations, including Earth and Mars. We find that, despite some limitations arising from the models architecture and assumptions, CMEs and shock-accelerated SEPs can be reasonably studied and forecast in real time at least out to several tens of degrees away from the eruption site using the prediction tools employed here.
Year of Publication2022
JournalSpace Weather
Number of Pagese2021SW002993
Date Publishedmay