Journal Article

A high charge state coronal mass ejection seen through solar wind charge exchange emission as detected by <i>XMM–Newton</i>

J. A. Carter, S. Sembay and A. M. Read

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 2, pages 867-878
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15985.x
A high charge state coronal mass ejection seen through solar wind charge exchange emission as detected by XMM–Newton

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We present the analysis of an observation by XMM–Newton that exhibits strongly variable, low-energy diffuse X-ray line emission. We reason that this emission is due to localized solar wind charge exchange (SWCX), originating from a passing cloud of plasma associated with a Coronal mass ejection (CME) interacting with neutrals in the Earth's exosphere. This case of SWCX exhibits a much richer emission-line spectrum in comparison with previous examples of geocoronal SWCX or in interplanetary space. We show that emission from O viii is very prominent in the SWCX spectrum. The observed flux from oxygen ions of is consistent with SWCX resulting from a passing CME. Highly ionized silicon is also observed in the spectrum, and the presence of highly charged iron is an additional spectral indicator that we are observing emission from a CME. We argue that this is the same event detected by the solar wind monitors Advanced Composition Explorer and Wind which measured an intense increase in the solar wind flux due to a CME that had been released from the Sun 2 d previous to the XMM–Newton observation.

Keywords: Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs); solar-terrestrial relations; interplanetary medium; X-rays: diffuse background; X-rays: general

Journal Article.  8907 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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