Modeling

Studying the Sun and its environment, many different phenomena have been discovered where the Sun lays at their origin. As scientists try to understand the physical processes that rest at the basis of these phenomena, many models have been developed. These range from solar dynamo models that try to explain the origin of the magnetic field topology of our Sun, eruption models that provide insight in how large clouds of solar mass are ejected from the solar inner corona into our solar system to magnetospheric, ionospheric and atmospheric models that model the Sun’s impact on our Earth’s environment.

The modelling of solar phenomena is twofold. First, it allows scientists to describe the physical processes involved and by using past observations, theories can be tested. Second, using specific models we are able to predict phenomena and more importantly their impact on Earth and our solar system (see Space Weather and climate).

An EUHFORIA2.0 simulation output

EUHFORIA2.0

Over the past few years, SIDC has been heavily involved in the development of the EUHFORIA2.0 model, in close collaboration with other research groups in Europe, such as the Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Helsinki. The EUHFORIA2.0 model focuses on the modeling of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their propagation within our solar system. These large eruptions initiated at the solar surface influence our everyday life in many forms, such as aurora but also problems with telecommunication, air aviation as well as negative effects on our electricity network.

In the project, innovative methods and state-of-the-art numerical techniques are used to extend the EUHFORIA model with extra facilities that improve its predication capabilities for the propagation of coronal mass ejections e.g. more complicated CME model, where different existing models are being coupled to each other.

Perspective for the future

The EUHFORIA2.0 model is installed at SIDC. It is run daily within the scope of the PECASUS network, for the prediction of the background solar wind and embedded CMEs, allowing arrival predictions of CMEs as well as other space weather phenomena related to the background solar wind. Collecting prediction data over longer periods of time allows us to validate the predictions against observed phenomena, providing us with the tools and information to keep improving the EUHFORIA2.0 model.