Solar Physics

, Volume 281, Issue 1, pp 167-185

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Three-Dimensional Properties of Coronal Mass Ejections from STEREO/SECCHI Observations

  • E. BosmanAffiliated withInstitute for Astrophysics, University of Göttingen Email author 
  • , V. BothmerAffiliated withInstitute for Astrophysics, University of Göttingen
  • , G. NisticòAffiliated withDipartimento di Fisica, Universita della Calabria
  • , A. VourlidasAffiliated withSpaces Sciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory
  • , R. A. HowardAffiliated withSpaces Sciences Division, Naval Research Laboratory
  • , J. A. DaviesAffiliated withRutherford Appleton Laboratory


We identify 565 coronal mass ejections (CMEs) between January 2007 and December 2010 in observations from the twin STEREO/SECCHI/COR2 coronagraphs aboard the STEREO mission. Our list is in full agreement with the corresponding SOHO/LASCO CME Catalog ( ) for events with angular widths of 45 and up. The monthly event rates behave similarly to sunspot rates showing a three- to fourfold rise between September 2009 and March 2010. We select 51 events with well-defined white-light structure and model them as three-dimensional (3D) flux ropes using a forward-modeling technique developed by Thernisien, Howard and Vourlidas (Astrophys. J. 652, 763 – 773, 2006). We derive their 3D properties and identify their source regions. We find that the majority of the CME flux ropes (82 %) lie within 30 of the solar equator. Also, 82 % of the events are displaced from their source region, to a lower latitude, by 25 or less. These findings provide strong support for the deflection of CMEs towards the solar equator reported in earlier observations, e.g. by Cremades and Bothmer (Astron. Astrophys. 422, 307 – 322, 2004).


Coronal mass ejection