A COR2 difference image from the STEREO mission of a halo coronal mass ejection launched at 05:10 Universal Time on 5 March 2013. COR2 is a visible-light coronagraph that observes out to 15 solar radii. Credit: Harrison et al., 2017, Figure 3a
Source: Space Weather

Heliospheric imaging is a technique developed to look at the Sun’s extended atmosphere, rather than the Sun itself. The Sun’s tenuous atmosphere extends well beyond Earth’s orbit. The accompanying image shows a disturbance in Sun’s atmosphere out to a distance of 15 solar radii. Harrison et al. [2017] provide a timely assessment of the value of heliospheric imaging observations in the context of space weather operation with a clear aim of advocating for a deep-space mission for operational space weather prediction. The authors review a cross-section of the scientific analyses that have exploited heliospheric imagery—particularly from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories (STEREO) mission—and discuss their relevance to operational predictions of coronal mass ejection arrival at Earth and elsewhere. They assert that heliospheric imagery is central to any credible space weather mission, particularly one located at a vantage point off the Sun-Earth line. This paper will be a good reference both for scientific use and for justifying future missions.

Citation: Harrison, R. A., J. A. Davies, D. Biesecker, and M. Gibbs [2017], The application of heliospheric imaging to space weather operations: Lessons learned from published studies, Space Weather, 15, 985–1003, http://doi.org/10.1002/2017SW001633.

—Delores J. Knipp, Editor-in-Chief, Space Weather

Text © 2017. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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