Solar Physics

, Volume 256, Issue 1–2, pp 131–147 | Cite as

Three-Dimensional Kinematics of Coronal Mass Ejections from STEREO/SECCHI-COR2 Observations in 2007 – 2008

  • Y. BoursierEmail author
  • P. Lamy
  • A. Llebaria


We present a new method to perform the three dimensional characterization of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) using stereoscopic images obtained with the STEREO/SECCHI-COR2 coronagraphs. Two approaches are proposed, and each associated algorithm gives the trajectory of the CME and its kinematical properties (velocity and acceleration profiles) intended for space weather forecast. The first approach is based on forward modeling appropriate to the reconstruction of surfaces in an optically thin medium, and performs a local approximation of the observed CME by a hemispherical shell, thus tracking the leading edge of the event. The second approach is based on tracking the center of gravity of the radiance of the CME in the images. More than 16 000 blind tests have been performed to assess the performance of each algorithm. For that purpose, we used three distinct libraries of simulated images of CMEs that correspond to three CME models: hemispherical shell, flux rope, and cloud-like. The two methods are applied to a set of CMEs observed in 2007 and 2008 by the SECCHI-COR2 coronagraphs, and when possible, our results are compared to those already published. The determinations of the direction of propagation and of the velocity are generally found in good agreement.


Corona 3D reconstruction Coronal mass ejection (CME) Forward modeling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antunes, A., Thernisien, A., Yahil, A.: 2009, Hybrid reconstruction to derive 3D height-time evolution for coronal mass ejections. Solar Phys., submitted. Google Scholar
  2. Antunes, A., Cook, J.W., Newmark, J.S., Ontiveros, V., Thernisien, A.: 2008, Inverse whitelight reconstruction of STEREO-observed CMEs. In: AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts, A7. Google Scholar
  3. Boulade, S., Delannée, C., Koutchmy, S., Lamy, P., Llebaria, A., Howard, R., Schwenn, R., Simnett, G.: 1997, Analysis of a high latitude slow CME with travelling ejecta. In: Wilson, A. (ed.) Fifth SOHO Workshop: The Corona and Solar Wind Near Minimum Activity, ESA SP 404, 217 – 221. Google Scholar
  4. Boursier, Y., Lamy, P.: 2009, Forward modeling of the 23 October 2003 CME by an assymetric model. Solar Phys., to be submitted. Google Scholar
  5. Boursier, Y., Lamy, P., Llebaria, A., Goudail, F., Robelus, S.: 2009, The ARTEMIS catalog of LASCO coronal mass ejections: Automatic recognition of transient events and Marseille inventory from synoptic maps. Solar Phys., in press. Google Scholar
  6. Brueckner, G.E., Howard, R.A., Koomen, M.J., Korendyke, C.M., Michels, D.J., Moses, J.D., Socker, D.G., Dere, K.P., Lamy, P.L., Llebaria, A., Bout, M.V., Schwenn, R., Simnett, G.M., Bedford, D.K., Eyles, C.J.: 1995, The large angle spectroscopic coronagraph (LASCO). Solar Phys. 162, 357 – 402. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, J.: 1989, Effects of toroidal forces in current loops embedded in a background plasma. Astrophys. J. 338, L453 – L470. doi: 10.1086/167211. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, J., Howard, R.A., Brueckner, G.E., Santoro, R., Krall, J., Paswaters, S.E., St. Cyr, O.C., Schwenn, R., Lamy, P., Simnett, G.M.: 1997, Evidence of an erupting magnetic flux rope: LASCO coronal mass ejection of 1997 April 13. Astrophys. J. 490, L191– L194. doi: 10.1086/311029. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. de Koning, C.A., Pizzo, V.J., Biesecker, D.A.: 2007, Propagation characteristics of the 2007 August 21 coronal mass ejection as determined by geometric localization. In: AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, SH42A-06. Google Scholar
  10. Donoho, D.L., Johnstone, I.M.: 1995, Adapting to unknown smoothness via wavelet shrinkage. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 90, 1200 – 1224. zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. Liewer, P.C., Dejong, E.M., Hall, J.R., Braswell, S.J., Thompson, W.T., Howard, R.: 2007, Stereoscopic analysis of CME-related coronal activity using STEREO/SECCHI observations. In: AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, SH41B-02. Google Scholar
  12. Llebaria, A., Lamy, P., Malburet, P.: 1998, Discrimination of point-like objects in astronomical images using surface curvature. Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 127, 587 – 595. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. Mierla, M., Davila, J., Thompson, W., Inhester, B., Srivastava, N., Kramar, M., St. Cyr, O.C., Stenborg, G., Howard, R.A.: 2008, A quick method for estimating the propagation direction of coronal mass ejections using STEREO-COR1 images. Solar Phys. 252, 385 – 396. doi: 10.1007/s11207-008-9267-8. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. Pizzo, V.J., Biesecker, D.A.: 2004, Geometric localization of STEREO CMEs. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, 21802. doi: 10.1029/2004GL021141. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. Saez, F., Llebaria, A., Lamy, P., Vibert, D.: 2007, Three-dimensional reconstruction of the streamer belt and other large-scale structures of the solar corona. I. Method. Astron. Astrophys. 473, 265 – 277. doi: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066777. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. Stenborg, G., Cobelli, P.J.: 2003, A wavelet packets equalization technique to reveal the multiple spatial-scale nature of coronal structures. Astron. Astrophys. 398, 1185 – 1193. doi: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021687. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Thernisien, A.F.R., Howard, R.A., Vourlidas, A.: 2006, Modeling of flux rope coronal mass ejections. Astrophys. J. 652, 763 – 773. doi: 10.1086/508254. CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de MarseilleMarseilleFrance

Personalised recommendations