Space Science Reviews

, Volume 147, Issue 1–2, pp 31–54 | Cite as

Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections Observed in the Heliosphere: 1. Review of Theory

  • Timothy A. Howard
  • S. James Tappin


With the recent advancements in interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) imaging it is necessary to understand how heliospheric images may be interpreted, particularly at large elongation angles. Of crucial importance is how the current methods used for coronal mass ejection measurement in coronagraph images must be changed to account for the large elongations involved in the heliosphere. In this review of theory we build up a picture of ICME appearance and evolution at large elongations in terms of how it would appear to an observer near 1 AU from the Sun. We begin by revisiting the basics of Thomson scattering describing how ICMEs are detected, in this we attempt to clarify a number of common misconceptions. We then build up from a single electron to an integrated line of sight, consider the ICME as a collection of lines of sight and describe how a map of ICME appearance may be developed based on its appearance relative to each line of sight. Finally, we discuss how the topology of the ICME affects its observed geometry and kinematic properties, particularly at large elongations. This review is the first of a three-part series of papers, where a review of theory is presented here and a model is developed and used in subsequent papers.


Coronal mass ejections Solar-terrestrial relations Interplanetary medium 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. D.E. Billings, A Guide to the Solar Corona (Academic Press, San Diego, 1966) Google Scholar
  2. G.E. Brueckner, R.A. Howard, M.J. Koomen, C.M. Korendyke, D.J. Michels, J.D. Moses, D.G. Socker, K.P. Dere, P.L. Lamy, A. Llebaria, M.V. Bout, R. Schwenn, G.M. Simnett, D.K. Bedford, C.J. Eyles, Sol. Phys. 162, 357 (1995) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. L.F. Burlaga, E. Sittler, F. Mariani, R. Schwenn, J. Geophys. Res. 86, 6673 (1981) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. H.L. DeMastus, W.J. Wagner, R.D. Robinson, Sol. Phys. 100, 449 (1973) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. M. Dryer, Space Sci. Rev. 67, 363 (1994) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. C.J. Eyles, G.M. Simnett, M.P. Cooke, B.V. Jackson, A. Buffington, N.R. Waltham, J.M. King, P.A. Anderson, P.E. Holladay, Sol. Phys. 217, 319 (2003) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. J.T. Gosling, J. Geophys. Res. 98, 18937 (1993) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. R.A. Harrison, C.J. Davis, C.J. Eyles, D. Bewsher, S.R. Crothers, J.A. Davies, R.A. Howard, D.J. Moses, D.G. Socker, J.S. Newmark, J.-P. Halain, J.-M. Defise, E. Mazy, P. Rochus, D.F. Webb, G.M. Simnett, Sol. Phys. 247, 171 (2008) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. A. Hewish, M.D. Symonds, Planet. Space Sci. 17, 318 (1969) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. A. Hewish, P.F. Scott, D. Wills, Nature 203, 1214 (1964) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. A. Hewish, S.J. Tappin, G.R. Gapper, Nature 314, 137 (1985) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. A.R. Hinks, Map Projections (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1912) zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. T.A. Howard, S.J. Tappin, Space Sci. Rev. (2009, this issue) Google Scholar
  14. T.A. Howard, D.F. Webb, S.J. Tappin, D.R. Mizuno, J.C. Johnston, J. Geophys. Res. 111, A04105 (2006). doi: 10.1029/2005JA011349 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. T.A. Howard, C.D. Fry, J.C. Johnston, D.F. Webb, Astrophys. J. 667, 610 (2007) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. Z. Houminer, Nat. Phys. Sci. 231, 165 (1971) ADSGoogle Scholar
  17. Z. Houminer, Planet. Space Sci. 21, 1617 (1973) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Z. Houminer, A. Hewish, Planet. Space Sci. 20, 1703 (1972) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  19. A.J. Hundhausen, J. Geophys. Res. 78, 1528 (1973) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. B.V. Jackson, H.R. Froehling, Astron. Astrophys. 299, 885 (1995) ADSGoogle Scholar
  21. B.V. Jackson, P. Hick, Adv. Space Res. 25, 1875 (2000) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. B.V. Jackson, P. Hick, in Solar and Space Weather Radiophysics, Current Status and Future Developments, ed. by D.E. Gary, C.U. Keller, vol. 314 (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 2005), p. 355, Chap. 17 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. B.V. Jackson, C. Leinert, J. Geophys. Res. 90, 10759 (1985) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. B.V. Jackson, A. Buffington, P.P. Hick, R.C. Altrock, S. Figueroa, P.E. Holladay, J.C. Johnston, S.W. Kahler, J.B. Mozer, S. Price, R.R. Radick, R. Sagalyn, D. Sinclair, G.M. Simnett, C.J. Eyles, M.P. Cooke, S.J. Tappin, T. Kuchar, D.R. Mizuno, D.F. Webb, P.A. Anderson, S.L. Keil, R.E. Gold, N.R. Waltham, Sol. Phys. 225, 177 (2004) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. B.V. Jackson, A. Buffington, P.P. Hick, D.F. Webb, J. Geophys. Res. 111, A04S91 (2006). doi: 10/1029/2004JA010942 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. J.D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 2nd edn. (Wiley, New York, 1975) zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. R.A. Jones, A.R. Breen, R.A. Fallows, A. Canals, M.M. Bisi, G. Lawrence, J. Geophys. Res. 112, A08107 (2007). doi: 10.1029/2006JA011875 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. H. Kimura, I. Mann, Earth Planets Space 50, 493 (1998) ADSGoogle Scholar
  29. S. Koutchmy, P.L. Lamy, in Properties and Interactions of Interplanetary Dust, ed. by R.H. Giese, P. Lamy (Springer, Berlin, 1985), p. 63 Google Scholar
  30. J.B. Leighly, Geogr. Rev. 45, 246 (1955) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. C. Leinert, H. Link, E. Pitz, N. Salm, D. Knuppleberg, Raumfahartforschung 19, 264 (1975) ADSGoogle Scholar
  32. P.K. Manoharan, M. Tokumaru, M. Pick, P. Subramanian, F.M. Ipavich, K. Schenk, M.L. Kaiser, R.P. Lepping, A. Vourlidas, Astrophys. J. 559, 1180 (2001) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  33. M. Minnaert, Z. Astrophys. 1, 209 (1930) ADSGoogle Scholar
  34. A. Schuster, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 40, 35 (1879) ADSGoogle Scholar
  35. R. Schwenn, A. Dal Lago, E. Huttunen, W.D. Gonzalez, Ann. Geophys. 23, 1033 (2005) ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. N.R. Sheeley Jr., A.D. Herbst, C.A. Palatchi, Y.-M. Wang, R.A. Howard, J.D. Moses, A. Vourlidas, J.S. Newmark, D.G. Socker, S.P. Plunkett, C.M. Korendyke, Astrophys. J. 675, 853 (2008) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  37. S.J. Tappin, Planet. Space Sci. 35, 271 (1987) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  38. S.J. Tappin, T.A. Howard, Space Sci. Rev. (2009, this issue) Google Scholar
  39. S.J. Tappin, Z.K. Smith, M. Dryer, Planet. Space Sci. 38, 955 (1990) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  40. S.J. Tappin, A. Buffington, M.P. Cooke, C.J. Eyles, P.P. Hick, P.E. Holladay, B.V. Jackson, J.C. Johnston, T. Kuchar, D. Mizuno, J.B. Mozer, S. Price, R.R. Radick, G.M. Simnett, D. Sinclair, N.R. Waltham, D.F. Webb, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L02802 (2004). doi: 10.1029/2003GL018766 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. R. Tousey, Space Res. 13, 713 (1973) Google Scholar
  42. H.C. van de Hulst, Bull. Astron. Inst. Neth. 11, 135 (1950) ADSGoogle Scholar
  43. A. Vourlidas, R.A. Howard, Astrophys. J. 642, 1216 (2006) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  44. D.F. Webb, D.R. Mizuno, A. Buffington, M.P. Cooke, C.J. Eyles, C.D. Fry, L.C. Gentile, P.P. Hick, P.E. Holladay, T.A. Howard, J.G. Hewitt, B.V. Jackson, J.C. Johnston, T.A. Kuchar, J.B. Mozer, S. Price, R.R. Radick, G.M. Simnett, S.J. Tappin, J. Geophys. Res. 111, 12101 (2006). doi: 10.1029/2006JA011655 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. D.F. Webb, T.A. Howard, C.D. Fry, T.A. Kuchar, D. Odstrĉil, B.V. Jackson, M.M. Bisi, R.A. Harrison, J.S. Morrill, R.A. Howard, J.C. Johnston, Sol. Phys. 256, 239 (2009) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  46. X.-P. Zhao, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 15051 (1992) CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Air Force Research LaboratoryNational Solar ObservatorySunspotUSA
  2. 2.Department of Space StudiesSouthwest Research InstituteBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations