An Analysis of the Origin and Propagation of the Multiple Coronal Mass Ejections of 2010 August 1

R. A. Harrison, J. A. Davies, C. Möstl, Y. Liu, M. Temmer, M. M. Bisi, J. P. Eastwood, C. A. de Koning, N. Nitta, T. Rollett, C. J. Farrugia, R. J. Forsyth, B. V. Jackson, E. A. Jensen, E. K. J. Kilpua, D. Odstrcil, D. F. Webb

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On 2010 August 1, the northern solar hemisphere underwent significant activity that involved a complex set of active regions near central meridian with, nearby, two large prominences and other more distant active regions. This activity culminated in the eruption of four major coronal mass ejections (CMEs), effects of which were detected at Earth and other solar system bodies. Recognizing the unprecedented wealth of data from the wide range of spacecraft that were available—providing the potential for us to explore methods for CME identification and tracking, and to assess issues regarding onset and planetary impact—we present a comprehensive analysis of this sequence of CMEs. We show that, for three of the four major CMEs, onset is associated with prominence eruption, while the remaining CME appears to be closely associated with a flare. Using instrumentation on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft, three of the CMEs could be tracked out to elongations beyond 50°; their directions and speeds have been determined by various methods, not least to assess their potential for Earth impact. The analysis techniques that can be applied to the other CME, the first to erupt, are more limited since that CME was obscured by the subsequent, much faster event before it had propagated far from the Sun; we discuss the speculation that these two CMEs interact. The consistency of the results, derived from the wide variety of methods applied to such an extraordinarily complete data set, has allowed us to converge on robust interpretations of the CME onsets and their arrivals at 1 AU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45
Number of pages1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2012


  • solar-terrestrial relations
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
  • Sun: filaments, prominences
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: heliosphere


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