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Published June 10, 2013 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Very Unusual Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection of 2012 July 23: A Blast Wave Mediated by Solar Energetic Particles


The giant, superfast, interplanetary coronal mass ejection, detected by STEREO A on 2012 July 23, well away from Earth, appears to have reached 1 AU with an unusual set of leading bow waves resembling in some ways a subsonic interaction, possibly due to the high pressures present in the very energetic particles produced in this event. Eventually, a front of record high-speed flow reached STEREO. The unusual behavior of this event is illustrated using the magnetic field, plasma, and energetic ion observations obtained by STEREO. Had the Earth been at the location of STEREO, the large southward-oriented magnetic field component in the event, combined with its high speed, would have produced a record storm.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 February 22; accepted 2013 April 18; published 2013 May 22. This work was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under NASA Grant NAS5-00133, administered by the University of California, Berkeley.

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