Inner Heliosphere

Inner Heliosphere research group funded by OTKA grant FK 128548 (2018-2023)

  • Dr. Andrea Opitz (PI: 2018-2023) - Senior Research Fellow (Wigner RCP)
  • DSc. Géza Erdős (senior member: 2018-2023) - Scientific Advisor -> Retired Research Associate (Wigner RCP)
  • Dr. Péter Kovács (junior member: 2022-2023) - Research Fellow -> Senior Research Fellow (Wigner RCP)
  • Dr. Mohammed Talafha (junior member: 2023) - Research Fellow (Wigner RCP)
  • Dr. Melinda Dósa (junior member: 2018-2021) - PhD student -> Research Fellow (Wigner RCP)
  • Ákos Madár (junior member: 2020-2023) - PhD student (Eotvos University and Wigner RCP)
  • Nikolett Biró (junior member: 2021-2023) - PhD student (Eotvos University and Wigner RCP)
  • Gergely Kobán (junior member: 2021-2023) - PhD student (Eotvos University and Wigner RCP)
  • Gábor Tróznai (junior member: 2018-2023) - Research Engineer (Wigner RCP -> Centre for Energy Research)

  • Wigner Space

    Motivation: The investigation of the plasma physical processes in the heliosphere is strongly limited by the small number of spacecraft making in situ measurements in single points. This project aims to connect the data of those measurements in order to best exploit the information about the structures and dynamical processes in the heliosphere. The main goal of the project is to establish models and methods for the spatial extrapolation of the plasma characteristics measured by space probes to other places in the heliosphere. This investigation has practical benefits such as the determination of plasma conditions near Earth or other planets, which influence space weather at those bodies. Forecasting the plasma parameters to be measured by a new spacecraft is also useful to plan the missions and to provide test data for the development of data analysis tools before launch.

    Summary: The Sun is the primary energy source of the plasma physical processes in our Solar System, its permanent outflow of charged particles (solar wind) and fields interact with the plasma environment of planets, comets or any space infrastructure. Our project focused on the plasma processes in the inner heliosphere, especially on the solar wind origin, characteristics, propagation, and its interactions. We have created methods and tools to characterize and predict the solar wind and its disturbances through modelling and analyzing multi-spacecraft observations. Our results show the importance of the non-linear surface inflows in solar magnetic dynamo modelling, the latitudinal effects in solar wind predictions, and the proper multi-spacecraft constellation when calculating the electric current in the terrestrial magnetosphere. A special part of our activities was dedicated to solar wind dynamics by deriving the orientation of stream interfaces in the CIRs and by implementing a pressure-based correction into our solar wind predictions, so we managed to improve the ballistic propagation model. These results and tools can be applied for space weather predictions, where information on provisional solar wind conditions at the terrestrial magnetosphere is of vital importance. For instance, we have found that the ionosphere plasma irregularities exhibit close correlations with the solar dynamics, and these have an impact on the distortions of GNSS radio signals measured onboard the Swarm mission.

    Acknowldegements: Our 'Inner heliosphere' research groups is highly grateful to NKFIH for the OTKA grant FK128548 that made possible to expand our team and extend our expertise, as well as to produce scientific results and services. Special thanks to the OTKA reviewers for their supporting comments. This multi-spacecraft project would not have been possible without the precious work of the spacecraft teams of Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, STEREO, WIND, ACE, BepiColombo, JUICE, Swarms, etc. We want to acknowledge all our colleagues at the Wigner Space Physics and Space Technology Department, especially Zoltan Nemeth (Department Head), Zsuzsanna Dalya (ICME list), Aniko Timar (3D propagation model), Lajos Foldy (technical support) and the technology team (for building space instrumentation on several missions). We also thank for the collaboration opportunities with Tamas I. Gombosi (BATS-R-US), Stefaan Poedts and Manuela Temmer (EUHFORIA). We would like to note that for complementary work part of our group was additionally supported by ESA Solar Orbiter test data project (2018) and H2020 Europlanet-RI-2024 project (2020-2024).

  • Soltra: a visual tool to find opportunities for coordinated multi-spacecraft observations in the inner heliosphere.
  • Propy: a problem-tailored background solar wind propagation tool (contact the team).

  • Database: List of ICME signatures in the in-situ solar wind plasma data of numerous spacecraft
  • Dalya Z., Opitz A., Biro N. Duration of ICME signatures in in-situ data from several space probes for the time interval of 2004-2021, Mendeley Data published on 9 June 2023; DOI: 10.17632/4zwbp8k7cr.1

  • Refereed publications:
  • Lkhvadorj M. et al. (including Opitz A.): Propagation of interplanetary shocks in the Heliosphere, to be submitted.
  • Opitz A., Biro N. et al.: Temporal evolution of the solar wind properties in STEREO view, to be submitted.
  • Talafha M., Petrovay K., Opitz A.: Effect of the nonlinear surface inflows into activity belts on the solar cycle modulation, submitted.
  • Madar A., Opitz A., Erdos G., Szabo A., and Nemeth Z.: Directional discontinuities in the inner heliosphere from Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter observations, submitted to A&A.
  • Biro N., Opitz A., Nemeth Z., Dalya Z., Madar A., Timar A., and Koban G.: Latitudinal variation of the background solar wind in the Inner Heliosphere from multi-spacecraft observations, submitted to AGU Space Weather.
  • Timar A., Opitz A. et al. (including Biro N., Koban G., and Madar A.): 3D pressure-corrected ballistic extrapolation of solar wind speed in the inner heliosphere, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 14, 14 (2024).
  • Berenyi K.A., Opitz A., Dalya Z., Kis A., and Barta V.: Impact of ICME- and SIR/CIR-Driven Geomagnetic Storms on the Ionosphere over Hungary, Atmosphere 14(9), 1377, DOI: 10.3390/atmos14091377 (2023).
  • Koban G., Opitz A., Biro N., and Nemeth Z., Orientation of the stream interface of CIRs, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 13, 14 (2023).
  • Munteanu C., Kovacs P., Echim M.: An Integrated Nonlinear Analysis (INA) software for space plasma turbulence, Earth and Space Science 10, e2022EA002692 (2023).
  • Hadid L.Z. et al. (including Dosa M. and Madar A.): BepiColombo’s Cruise Phase: Unique Opportunity for Synergistic Observations, Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Vol. 8, DOI: 10.3389/fspas.2021.718024 (2021).
  • Mangano V. et al. (including Dosa M., Madar A., and Erdos G.): BepiColombo Science Investigations During Cruise and Flybys at the Earth, Venus and Mercury, Space Science Reviews 217:1, paper 23 (2021).
  • Horbury T. et al. (including Erdos G.): The Solar Orbiter magnetometer, Astronomy & Astrophysics 642, paper A9 (2020).
  • Milillo A. et al. (including Dosa M.): Investigating Mercury's Environment with the Two-Spacecraft BepiColombo Mission, Space Science Reviews 216:5, paper 93 (2020).
  • Timar A. et al. (including Dosa M. and Opitz A.): Estimating the solar wind pressure at comet 67P from Rosetta magnetic field measurements, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate 9, A3 (2019).

  • Theses:
  • Melinda Dosa: Long-term recurrences in the heliospheric magnetic field, PhD thesis (2019).
  • Akos Madar: MSc thesis (2019).

  • Under construction:

    Articles in Hungarian:
  • Nemeth Z., Opitz A.: ... (2023).
  • Opitz A., Madar A.: Inner Heliosphere... (2023).
  • Madar A., et al.: Solar Orbiter... (2020).

  • Conferences:
  • ESWW2023: MT, OA... (2023).
  • ERIM2023: MT ... (2023).
  • ISSI: MA ... (2023).
  • ... (2020).

  • Collaboration visits:
  • KG: Michigan... (2023).
  • BN: Michi... (2023).
  • KG: Leuven... (2023).

  • Summer schools:
  • BN: Michigan... (2023).
  • KG: Colorado... (2022).

  • Seminars:
  • OA: Dept. Sem. ... (2023).
  • ... (2022).
  • ... (2021).

  • Public outreach talks:
  • OA: ... (2023).
  • ... (2022).
  • ... (2021).

  • Modelling capabilities at Wigner RCP:
  • BATS-R-US (University of Michigan).
  • Propy in 3D (Timar A. and Opitz A.).

  • Last modified by Andrea Opitz on 29th May 2024.