Analysis of the Internal Structure of the Streamer Blowout Observed by the Parker Solar Probe during the First Solar Encounter

Teresa Nieves-Chinchilla, Adam Szabo, Kelly E. Korreck, Nathalia Alzate, Laura A. Balmaceda, Benoit Lavraud, Kristoff Paulson, Ayris A. Narock, Samantha Wallace, Lan K. Jian, Janet G. Luhmann, Huw Morgan, Aleida Higginson, Charles N. Arge, Stuart D. Bale, Anthony W. Case, Thierry Dudok De Wit, Joe Giacalone, Keith Goetz, Peter R. HarveyShaela I. Jones-Melosky, J. C. Kasper, Davin E. Larson, Roberto Livi, David J. McComas, Robert J. MacDowall, David M. Malaspina, Marc Pulupa, Nour E. Raouafi, Nathan Schwadron, Michael Louis Stevens, Phyllis L. Whittlesey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present an analysis of the internal structure of a coronal mass ejection (CME) detected by in situ instruments on board the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft during its first solar encounter. On 2018 November 11 at 23:53 UT, the FIELDS magnetometer measured an increase in strength of the magnetic field as well as a coherent change in the field direction. The SWEAP instrument simultaneously detected a low proton temperature and signatures of bidirectionality in the electron pitch angle distribution (PAD). These signatures are indicative of a CME embedded in the slow solar wind. Operating in conjunction with PSP was the STEREO A spacecraft, which enabled the remote observation of a streamer blowout by the SECCHI suite of instruments. The source at the Sun of the slow and well-structured flux rope was identified in an overlying streamer, the details of which are described in Korreck et al. Our detailed inspection of the internal transient structure magnetic properties suggests high complexity in deviations from an ideal flux rope 3D topology. Reconstructions of the magnetic field configuration reveal a highly distorted structure consistent with the highly elongated "bubble" observed remotely. A double-ring substructure observed in the SECCHI-COR2 field of view (FOV) is suggestive of a double internal flux rope. Furthermore, we describe a scenario in which mixed topology of a closed flux rope is combined with the magnetically open structure, which helps explain the flux dropout observed in the measurements of the electron PAD. Our justification for this is the plethora of structures observed by the EUV imager (SECCHI-EUVI) in the hours preceding the streamer blowout evacuation. Finally, taking advantage of the unique observations from PSP, we explore the first stages of the effects of coupling with the solar wind and the evolutionary processes in the magnetic structure. We found evidence of bifurcated current sheets in the structure boundaries, suggestive of magnetic reconnection. Our analysis of the internal force imbalance indicates that internal Lorentz forces continue to dominate the evolution of the structure in the COR2 FOV and serve as the main driver of the internal flux rope distortion detected in situ at PSP solar distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number63
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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