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Full Halo Coronal Mass Ejections: Arrival at the Earth

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DOI: 10.1002/2014JA020001
arXiv ID: 1406.4589
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A geomagnetic storm is mainly caused by a front-side coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting the Earth and then interacting with the magnetosphere. However, not all front-side CMEs can hit the Earth. Thus, which CMEs hit the Earth and when they do so are important issues in the study and forecasting of space weather. In our previous work (Shen et al., 2013), the de-projected parameters of the full-halo coronal mass ejections (FHCMEs) that occurred from 2007 March 1 to 2012 May 31 were estimated, and there are 39 front-side events could be fitted by the GCS model. In this work, we continue to study whether and when these front-side FHCMEs (FFHCMEs) hit the Earth. It is found that 59\% of these FFHCMEs hit the Earth, and for central events, whose deviation angles $\epsilon$, which are the angles between the propagation direction and the Sun-Earth line, are smaller than 45 degrees, the fraction increases to 75\%. After checking the deprojected angular widths of the CMEs, we found that all of the Earth-encountered CMEs satisfy a simple criterion that the angular width ($\omega$) is larger than twice the deviation angle ($\epsilon$). This result suggests that some simple criteria can be used to forecast whether a CME could hit the Earth. Furthermore, for Earth-encountered CMEs, the transit time is found to be roughly anti-correlated with the de-projected velocity, but some events significantly deviate from the linearity. For CMEs with similar velocities, the differences of their transit times can be up to several days. Such deviation is further demonstrated to be mainly caused by the CME geometry and propagation direction, which are essential in the forecasting of CME arrival.

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