Corotating interaction regions as seen by the STEREO Heliospheric Imagers 2007 – 2010

Thomas Michael Conlon, S.E. Milan, J.A. Davies, A.O. Williams

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NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission has coincided with a pronounced solar minimum. This allowed for easier detection of corotating interaction regions (CIRs). CIRs are formed by the interaction between fast and slow solar-wind streams ejected from source regions on the solar surface that rotate with the Sun. High-density plasma blobs that have become entrained at the stream interface can be tracked out to large elongations in data from the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments onboard STEREO. These blobs act as tracers of the CIR itself such that their HI signatures can be used to estimate CIR source location and radial speed. We estimate the kinematic properties of solar-wind transients associated with 40 CIRs detected by the HI instrument onboard the STEREO-A spacecraft between 2007 and 2010. We identify in-situ signatures of these transients at L1 using the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and compare the in-situ parameters with the HI results. We note that solar-wind transients associated with CIRs appear to travel at or close to the slow solar-wind speed preceding the event as measured in situ. We also highlight limitations in the commonly used analysis techniques of solar-wind transients by considering variability in the solar wind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2291-2309
Number of pages19
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Corotating interaction regions
  • Solar wind


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