Home    Research    Group Members    Publications    CME Catalog

CMEs and ICMEs

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are spectacular eruptions in the solar corona in which 10^{15-16} g of plasma is hurled into interplanetary space with 10^{31-32} ergs of energy. The ejected material in the solar wind, a key link between activity at the Sun and disturbances in the heliosphere, is called interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). The focus of my work is to understand the propagation and evolution of CMEs from the Sun to the outer heliosphere and their space weather effects, based on multi-spacecraft observations and theoretical modeling.      

Below is a movie combining observations from COR2, HI1 and HI2 of STEREO A. This is a panoramic view of an Earth-directed CME propagating from the corona all the way to the Earth. As can be seen from the example below, the Sun-to-Earth propagation of fast CMEs can be approximately formulated into three phases: an impulsive acceleration, then a rapid deceleration, and finally a nearly constant speed (or gradual deceleration). Reference: Liu, Y. D., et al., On Sun-to-Earth Propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections, 2013, ApJ, 769, 45.


Space Science Missions

Solar Terrestrial Environment Monitor (STEM) is a dedicated mission at L5 to make remote-sensing and in-situ observations of the whole Sun-Earth space. Its primary science objectives are to investigate how solar magnetic fields drive eruptions, mass transport and particle acceleration that impact the Earth and the heliosphere. It was proposed in 2015 together with European colleagues. Now it is under concept study in China.


Solar Polar ORbit Telescope (SPORT) is a mission that carries both remote-sensing and in-situ instruments from a polar orbit around the Sun. It will provide a unique opportunity to study CME propagation through the inner heliosphere and investigate solar high-latitude magnetism associated with eruptions and solar cycle variation. It has gone through the background science and engineering study under the Strategic Space Science Priority Program in China.