Computer Aided CME Tracking Software (CACTus) and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)

Scientists have developed a new technique for tracking the huge bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines that are ejected from the Sun, disrupting space weather and causing satellite failures, geomagnetic storms, and power outages.

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)

The ejections from the Sun are technically called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). These cause several disturbances to the space environment and thus forecasting their arrival time is very crucial. The forecasting accuracy is however hindered by limited CME observations in interplanetary space.

Computer Aided CME Tracking Software (CACTus)

  • Computer Aided CME Tracking Software (CACTus) is a software-based on computer vision algorithm that was so far used to detect and characterize such eruptions automatically in the outer corona where these eruptions cease to show accelerations and propagate with an almost constant speed.
  • However, due to the vast acceleration experienced by these eruptions, this algorithm could not be applied to the inner corona observations.
  • This problem limited the capability to track the eruptions as CMEs accelerate in the lower corona.
  • In addition to this, with the advancement in space technology, there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of data obtained from spacecraft.
  • Thus, it can become a tedious task to identify and track the solar eruptions in a huge number of images if done manually.

CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona (CIISCO)

  • Research led by Mr. Ritesh Patel, Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, and Dr. Vaibhav Pant from Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital along with their collaborators from Royal Observatory of Belgium, has led to the development of an algorithm, CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona (CIISCO).
  • CIISCO has been developed to detect and track the accelerating solar eruption in the lower corona.
  • CIISCO was tested on various eruptions observed by space observatories, including Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory, PROBA2/SWAP, and Solar Dynamics Observatory launched by ESA and NASA, respectively.
  • The parameters which are determined by CIISCO are helpful in characterizing these eruptions in the lower corona. When CIISCO will be implemented on the large volume of data available from space observatories, it will help in improving our understanding of eruptions in the inner corona.


Aditya-L1, the first solar mission of India, will observe the lower region of the solar corona. Thus, implementation of CIISCO on the Aditya-L1 data will provide new insight into the CME properties in this less explored region.




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