CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona

    0
    674

    In News

    Recently, researchers from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and the Royal Observatory of Belgium have developed CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona (CIISCO).

    • ARIES is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

    About CIISCO

    • It is an algorithm that will detect and track the accelerating Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the lower corona (outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere)
      • CMEs cause various disturbances to the space environment like disrupting space weather and causing geomagnetic storms, satellite failures and power outages.
      • Therefore, forecasting their arrival time is very important.
    • CIISCO has been successfully tested on several eruptions observed by space observatories, including,
      • Solar Dynamics Observatory and Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
      • PROBA2/SWAP launched by the European Space Agency (ESA)
    • Significance: An implementation of CIISCO on the large volume of data available from space observatories will be helpful to improve the understanding of eruptions in the inner corona, a region where the properties of such eruptions are less known.
    • Other Applications: It will be used in India’s first solar mission Aditya-L1.

    Earlier Forecasting Method

    • Computer-Aided CME Tracking Software (CACTus): It is a software, based on a computer vision algorithm that was so far used to detect and characterise such eruptions automatically in the outer corona.
    • Challenges
      • CACTus could not be applied to the inner corona observations due to the vast acceleration experienced by these eruptions and severely limited the capability to track them.
      • Moreover, with the advancement in space technology, there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of data and manual tracking and identification of solar eruptions is a tedious process.
      • Limited CME observations in interplanetary space hinder forecasting accuracy.

    Coronal Mass Ejections

    • They are powerful eruptions near the surface of the sun, driven by kinks (disturbances) in the solar magnetic field and the resulting shocks ripple through the solar system.
    • During a CME, enormous bubbles of superheated gas, called plasma, are ejected from the sun and accelerated to speeds of 1.6 million kilometers per hour.
    • The underlying cause of CMEs is not well understood but it has been agreed by astronomers that the sun’s magnetic field plays a major role.
    • The onslaught of charged particles and the temporary restructuring of the Earth’s magnetic field has observable effects.
      • Auroral lights, usually only seen near the poles, can drift to lower latitudes and become more brilliant.
      • It can also expose Earth to deadly cosmic rays and the astronauts in space may receive lethal doses of radiation.
      • It has the potential to severely disrupt power grids, satellites, communication networks, that is, anything that uses electricity.

                                                     (Image Source: SocraticQ&A)

    Aditya-L1

    • It is India’s first dedicated scientific mission to study the Sun.
    • Orbit: It will be inserted in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is 1.5 million km from the Earth.
      • It will have the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses.
    • Payloads: Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and additional six payloads.
    • Launch Vehicle: PSLV-XL from Sriharikota, India.
    • Significance
      • Under the mission, the study of the Sun’s corona, solar emissions, solar winds and flares and CMEs will be conducted.
      • Its studies will enhance the current understanding of the Solar Corona and also provide vital data for space weather studies.

    Source: Tribune India