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CME Magnetic Structure and IMF Preconditioning Affecting SEP Transport

Palmerio, Erika and Kilpua, Emilia K. J. and Witasse, Olivier and Barnes, David and Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz and Weiss, Andreas J. and Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa and Möstl, Christian and Jian, Lan K. and Mierla, Marilena and Zhukov, Andrei N. and Guo, Jingnan and Rodriguez, Luciano and Lowrance, Patrick J. and Isavnin, Alexey and Turc, Lucile and Futaana, Yoshifumi and Holmström, Mats (2021) CME Magnetic Structure and IMF Preconditioning Affecting SEP Transport. Space Weather, 19 (4). Art. No. e2020SW002654. ISSN 1542-7390. doi:10.1029/2020sw002654.

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Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) are two phenomena that can cause severe space weather effects throughout the heliosphere. The evolution of CMEs, especially in terms of their magnetic structure, and the configuration of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) that influences the transport of SEPs are currently areas of active research. These two aspects are not necessarily independent of each other, especially during solar maximum when multiple eruptive events can occur close in time. Accordingly, we present the analysis of a CME that erupted on May 11, 2012 (SOL2012-05-11) and an SEP event following an eruption that took place on May 17, 2012 (SOL2012-05-17). After observing the May 11 CME using remote-sensing data from three viewpoints, we evaluate its propagation through interplanetary space using several models. Then, we analyze in-situ measurements from five predicted impact locations (Venus, Earth, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Mars Science Laboratory en route to Mars, and Mars) in order to search for CME signatures. We find that all in-situ locations detect signatures of an SEP event, which we trace back to the May 17 eruption. These findings suggest that the May 11 CME provided a direct magnetic connectivity for the efficient transport of SEPs. We discuss the space weather implications of CME evolution, regarding in particular its magnetic structure, and CME-driven IMF preconditioning that facilitates SEP transport. Finally, this work remarks the importance of using data from multiple spacecraft, even those that do not include space weather research as their primary objective.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://www.helcats-fp7.euRelated ItemHELCATS catalogs A__20120511_01Related ItemSTEREO-A viewpoint html?id=HCME_B__20120512_01Related ItemSTEREO-B viewpoint
http://ccmc.gsfc.nasa.govRelated ItemNASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) ItemFull simulation results ItemRichardson & Cane ICME list ItemNASA–Wind ICME list ItemVirtual Solar Observatory ItemLevel-2 processed STEREO/HI data
https://sohoftp.nascom.nasa.govRelated ItemGOES/XRS data ItemVEX and MEX data Itemirfpy Library ItemWind data ItemEnergetic particle data
http://www.nmdb.euRelated ItemNMDB data ItemDst data
https://pds-ppi.igpp.ucla.eduRelated ItemMSL data ItemMOdy and MESSENGER data ItemSTEREO/HET data ItemSTEREO ICME list
Palmerio, Erika0000-0001-6590-3479
Kilpua, Emilia K. J.0000-0002-4489-8073
Witasse, Olivier0000-0003-3461-5604
Barnes, David0000-0003-1137-8220
Sánchez-Cano, Beatriz0000-0003-0277-3253
Weiss, Andreas J.0000-0002-6273-4320
Nieves-Chinchilla, Teresa0000-0003-0565-4890
Möstl, Christian0000-0001-6868-4152
Jian, Lan K.0000-0002-6849-5527
Mierla, Marilena0000-0003-4105-7364
Zhukov, Andrei N.0000-0002-2542-9810
Guo, Jingnan0000-0002-8707-076X
Rodriguez, Luciano0000-0002-6097-374X
Lowrance, Patrick J.0000-0001-8014-0270
Isavnin, Alexey0000-0002-7178-627X
Turc, Lucile0000-0002-7576-3251
Futaana, Yoshifumi0000-0002-7056-3517
Holmström, Mats0000-0001-5494-5374
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 26 April 2021. Version of Record online: 26 April 2021. Accepted manuscript online: 10 February 2021. Manuscript accepted: 01 February 2021. Manuscript revised: 13 January 2021. Manuscript received: 09 October 2020. E. Palmerio acknowledges the Doctoral Programme in Particle Physics and Universe Sciences (PAPU) at the University of Helsinki, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, and the NASA Living With a Star Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, administered by UCAR's Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS) under award no. NNX16AK22G. E. Kilpua acknowledges the SolMAG project (ERC-COG 724391) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Academy of Finland project SMASH (grant no. 310445), and the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space (Academy of Finland grant no. 312390). B. Sánchez-Cano acknowledges support through UK-STFC grant ST/S000429/1. A. Weiss and C. Möstl thank the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P31521-N27. M. Mierla, A. Zhukov, and L. Rodriguez thank the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) for their support in the framework of the PRODEX Programme. J. Guo thanks the Strategic Priority Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDB41000000 and XDA15017300), and the CNSA preresearch Project on Civil Aerospace Technologies (grant no. D020104). The work of L. Turc is supported by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 322544). We thank two anonymous reviewers, whose comments and suggestions have significantly improved this article. We acknowledge support from the European Union FP7-SPACE-2013-1 programme for the HELCATS project (grant no. 606692). The HI instruments on STEREO were developed by a consortium that comprised the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK), the University of Birmingham (UK), Centre Spatial de Liège (CSL, Belgium) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL, USA). The STEREO/SECCHI project, of which HI is a part, is an international consortium led by NRL. We recognize the support of the UK Space Agency for funding STEREO/HI operations in the UK. The WSA model was developed by C. N. Arge (currently at NASA/GSFC), and the Enlil model was developed by D. Odstrcil (currently at GMU). We thank the model developers, M. L. Mays, R. Colaninno, and the CCMC staff. We acknowledge the NMDB, founded under the European Union's FP7 programme (contract no. 213007), for providing neutron monitor data. We thank the WDC for Geomagnetism, Kyoto, and the geomagnetic observatories for their cooperation to make the final Dst indices available. This work is based (in part) on archival data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which was operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by an award issued by JPL/Caltech. Finally, we thank the instrument teams of all the spacecraft involved in this study. Data Availability Statement: The HELCATS catalogs are available at Images and additional information on the May 12, 2012 CME are available at (STEREO-A viewpoint) and (STEREO-B viewpoint). The WSA–Enlil + Cone simulation results have been provided by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through their public Runs on Request system ( The full simulation results are available at The Richardson & Cane ICME list is available at, while the NASA–Wind ICME list can be found at Solar disc and coronagraph data from SDO, SOHO, and STEREO are openly available at the Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO; These data were processed and analyzed through SunPy (SunPy Community et al., 2015, 2020), IDL SolarSoft (Bentely & Freeland, 1998), and the ESA JHelioviewer software (Müller et al., 2017). Level-2 processed STEREO/HI data were obtained from the UK Solar System Data Centre (UKSSDC; GOES/XRS data were retrieved from VEX and MEX data are openly available at ESA's Planetary Science Archive ( These data were processed and analyzed with the aid of the irfpy library ( Wind data are publicly available at NASA's Coordinated Data Analysis Web (CDAWeb) database ( Energetic particle data from GOES can be accessed at NMDB data are publicly available at and Dst data can be found at Spitzer data are available at the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive ( MSL data are openly available at the Planetary Plasma Interactions (PPI) Node of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS), accessible at MOdy and MESSENGER data are available at the Geosciences Node of the PDS, accessible at STEREO/HET data were accessed at The STEREO ICME list can be found at
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of HelsinkiUNSPECIFIED
Emil Aaltosen FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramNNX16AK22G
European Research Council (ERC)724391
Academy of Finland310445
Academy of Finland312390
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/S000429/1
FWF Der WissenschaftsfondsP31521‐N27
European Space Agency (ESA)UNSPECIFIED
Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO)UNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB41000000
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDA15017300
China National Space AdministrationD020104
Academy of Finland322544
European Research Council (ERC)606692
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)213007
Subject Keywords:coronal mass ejections; heliophysics; interplanetary magnetic field; solar energetic particles; solar wind; space weather
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210607-115056600
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Palmerio, E., Kilpua, E. K. J., Witasse, O., Barnes, D., Sánchez-Cano, B., Weiss, A. J., et al. (2021). CME magnetic structure and IMF preconditioning affecting SEP transport. Space Weather, 19, e2020SW002654.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109424
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Jun 2021 22:11
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:36

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