National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Living With A Star

Targeted Research and Technology

Investigating the Origin and Evolution of Magnetic Flux Ropes in the Heliosphere

ROSES ID: NNH13ZDA001N      Selection Year: 2013      

Program Element: Targeted Science Team

  • Science Topic: Magnetic Flux Ropes from the Sun to the Heliosphere

Principal Investigator: Mark Linton

Affiliation(s): Naval Research Laboratory

Project Member(s):
Wood, Brian E. Co-I Naval Research Laboratory
Titov, Viacheslav Collaborator Predictive Science, Incorporated
Leake, James Edward Co-I Naval Research Laboratory
Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa Co-I NASA GSFC
Norton, Aimee A Co-I Solar Physics Group, HEPL
Mikic, Zoran Co-I Predictive Science, Incorporated
Lepri, Susan Co-I The University of Michigan
Raymond, John C Co-I Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)
Riley, Pete Co-I Predictive Science, Incorporated
Scherrer, Philip H. Co-I HEPL
Torok, Tibor Co-I Predictive Science, Inc.
Vourlidas, Angelos Co-I JHU/APL
Linker, Jon A Co-I/Institutional PI Predictive Science, Inc.
Hu, Qiang Co-I The University of Alabama in Huntsville


We propose a Targeted Science Team to attack the Living with a Star

Focused Science Topic "Flux Ropes from the Sun to the Heliosphere."

Our interdisciplinary team will address the fundamental

aspects of flux rope formation and evolution, including the emergence of

magnetic flux from the solar interior, the formation of flux ropes in the

solar atmosphere, their eventual eruption and subsequent evolution as coronal

mass ejections (CMEs), and their propagation as interplanetary

coronal mass ejections (ICMEs).

We will closely couple observations, models, and simulations to develop

a deep understanding of the properties of CME flux ropes from their birth

in the solar atmosphere to their arrival at Earth and beyond. The expertise of

our team members covers all the disciplines needed to track a CME flux rope during

its life cycle.

Objectives and Methods:

Our investigation focuses on answering three key questions:

1) How do magnetic flux ropes form in emerging active regions?

We propose to combine active region observations, including photospheric vector

magnetic field and velocity measurements, with state-of-the-art

magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of flux emergence and flux rope

formation, to significantly improve the ability to characterize the

properties of coronal flux ropes.

2) How does flux emergence lead to the eruption of CME flux ropes?

Our demonstrated ability to study CME events with unprecedented realism,

together with our recent advances in coupling MHD simulations of flux

emergence with the evolution of flux ropes in the corona,

will lead to a richer understanding of the conditions that

determine when flux ropes erupt. These theoretical investigations will

be guided by the analysis of multi-wavelength observations of CME eruptions

associated with flux emergence.

3) How are ICME flux ropes distorted by their interaction with the

interplanetary medium? We propose to combine MHD simulations, white-light

observations and modeling, flux rope reconstruction, and in-situ charge

state measurements to understand the coronal origin of the features we measure

at 1 AU. We will investigate how to combine CME morphology and flux rope

reconstruction techniques to estimate the fields embedded in ICMEs prior

to their arrival at Earth.

Significance to solicitation and NASA interests:

Understanding the life cycle of CME flux ropes is a critical challenge, not

only from a purely scientific perspective, but because of the crucial role these

structures play in space weather. Our proposed research combines detailed

observational studies, state-of-the-art simulations, and practical empirical models

to answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of CME flux ropes.

The successful completion of our project will pave the way for a capability to

predict geoeffective magnetic fields hours to days in advance of the arrival of

Earth-targeted ICMEs


Performance YearReferenceInvestigation TypeActions
1Kliem B.; Lin J.; Forbes T. G.; Priest T.; (2014). Catastrop...
1Kliem B.; Torok T.; Titov V. S.; Lionello J. A.; Liu R.; Liu...
1Kouloumvakos A.; Patsourakos S.; Hillaris A.; Preka-Papadema...
Data Analysis
1Lee E.; Lukin V. S.; Linton M. G.; (2014). On flux rope stab...
1Titov V. S.; Torok T.; Mikic Z.; Linker J. A.; (2014). A Met...
Theory and Model Development
1Torok T.; Kliem B.; Berger M. G.; Demoulin P.; van Driel-Ges...
1van Driel-Gesztelyi L.; Baker D.; Torok E.; Green L. M.; Wil...
Data Model Comparison
2Hu Q.; Qiu J.; Krucker S.; (2015). Magnetic field line lengt...
Data Analysis
1Leake J. E.; Linton M. G.; Antiochos S. K.; (2014). Simulati...
2Dalmasse K.; Aulanier G.; Demoulin B.; Torok T.; Pariat E.; ...
2Schwadron N. A.; Lee M. A.; Gorby M.; Lugaz H. E.; Desai M.;...
2Wood B. E.; Howard R. A.; Linton M. G.; (2016). Imaging Prom...
Data Analysis
2Wu C.-C.; Liou K.; Vourlidas A.; Plunkett M.; Wu S. T.; Mewa...
2Lionello R.; Alexander C. E.; Winebarger J. A.; Mikic Z.; (2...
2Linker J.; Torok T.; Downs C.; Lionello V.; Caplan R. M.; Mi...
2Schwadron N. A.; Lee M. A.; Gorby M.; Lugaz H. E.; Desai M.;...
2Hu Q.; (2016). On the Grad-Shafranov reconstruction of toroi...
Data Model Comparison
2McClintock B. H.; Norton A. A.; (2016). Tilt Angle and Footp...
Data Analysis
2Patsourakos S.; Georgoulis M. K.; Vourlidas A.; Sarris T.; A...
Data Analysis
2Nindos A.; Patsourakos S.; Vourlidas A.; Tagikas C.; (2015)....
Data Analysis
3Lionello R.; Torok T.; Titov V. S.; Leake J. E.; Mikic Z.; L...
4Pariat, E.; Leake, J. E.; Valori, G.; Linton, M. G....
3Merkin V. G.; Lionello R.; Lyon J. G.; Linker J.; Torok T.; ...
3Raouafi N. E.; Patsourakos S.; Pariat E.; Young P. R.; Sterl...
Other Investigations
2Torok T.; Lionello R.; Titov V. S.; Leake J. E.; Mikic Z.; L...
4Titov V. S.; Mikic Z.; Torok T.; Linker J. A.; Panasenco O.;...
Tools and Analysis Techniques
4Liu Y.; Sun X.; Torok T.; Titov V. S.; Leake J. E.; (2017). ...
Data Analysis
4Manchester W.; Kilpua E. K. J.; Liu Y. D.; Lugaz N.; Riley P...
Other Investigations
4Titov V. S.; Downs C.; Mikic Z.; Torok T.; Linker J. A.; Cap...
Theory and Model Development


Performance YearReferenceActions
1Nieves-Chinchilla, T.; Linton, M.; Hidalgo, M. A. U.;...

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