Observational evidence of a coronal mass ejection distortion directly attributable to a structured solar wind
Savani, N., Owens, M. J., Rouillard, A.P., Forsyth, R.J. and Davis, J.A. (2010) Observational evidence of a coronal mass ejection distortion directly attributable to a structured solar wind. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 714 (1). pp. 128-132. ISSN 0004-637X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/714/1/L128
We present the first observational evidence of the near-Sun distortion of the leading edge of a coronal mass ejection (CME) by the ambient solar wind into a concave structure. On 2007 November 14, a CME was observed by coronagraphs onboard the STEREO-B spacecraft, possessing a circular cross section. Subsequently the CME passed through the field of view of the STEREO-B Heliospheric Imagers where the leading edge was observed to distort into an increasingly concave structure. The CME observations are compared to an analytical flux rope model constrained by a magnetohydrodynamic solar wind solution. The resultant bimodal speed profile is used to kinematically distort a circular structure that replicates the initial shape of the CME. The CME morphology is found to change rapidly over a relatively short distance. This indicates an approximate radial distance in the heliosphere where the solar wind forces begin to dominate over the magnetic forces of the CME influencing the shape of the CME.