Intercomparison of NEAR and Wind interplanetary coronal mass ejection observations

T. Mulligan, C. T. Russell, B. J. Anderson, D. A. Lohr, D. Rust, B. A. Toth, L. J. Zanetti, M. H. Acuma, R. P. Lepping, and J. T. Gosling

Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, and the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles


Nearly 4 months of continuous interplanetary magnetic field measurements September 1997 through December 1997 have allowed us to compare four interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) events seen by the NEAR and Wind spacecraft. When the spacecraft are in close proximity (separated by 1° in azimuth relative to the sun) the ICMEs seen by Wind and NEAR have similar signatures as expected for structures with dimensions along the solar wind flow of ~0.2 AU. When the NEAR spacecraft is separated by ~5.4° in azimuth from the Earth the vector signature of ICMEs seen at NEAR begins to differ from those seen at Wind even though the magnitude of the field in the events and the background solar wind show similarities at the two spacecraft. When the spacecraft are separated by 11.3° the magnetic signatures are quite different and sometimes ICMEs are seen only at one of the two locations. Nevertheless, in all cases the magnetic helicity of the cloud structures seen at NEAR is the same as at Wind. The radial speeds of the shock and ICME leading edge as they cross Wind and the time delays of those events, for which we have some assurance that they also arrived at NEAR, indicated that the ICMEs decelerate measurably as they travel near 1 AU.

J. Geophy. Res., Vol 104, No A12, pgs 28.217 - 28.223, 1999