Stereoscopic imaging of an Earth-impacting solar coronal mass ejection: a major milestone for the STEREO mission
Davis, C. J., Davies, J. A., Lockwood, M., Rouillard, A. P., Eyles, C. J. and Harrison, R. A. (2009) Stereoscopic imaging of an Earth-impacting solar coronal mass ejection: a major milestone for the STEREO mission. Geophysical Research Letters, 36. L08102. ISSN 0094-8276
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038021
We present stereoscopic images of an Earth-impacting Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The CME was imaged by the Heliospheric Imagers onboard the twin STEREO spacecraft during December 2008. The apparent acceleration of the CME is used to provide independent estimates of its speed and direction from the two spacecraft. Three distinct signatures within the CME were all found to be closely Earth-directed. At the time that the CME was predicted to pass the ACE spacecraft, in-situ observations contained a typical CME signature. At Earth, ground-based magnetometer observations showed a small but widespread sudden response to the compression of the geomagnetic cavity at CME impact. In this case, STEREO could have given warning of CME impact at least 24 hours in advance. These stereoscopic observations represent a significant milestone for the STEREO mission and have significant potential for improving operational space weather forecasting.