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New Horizons Flyby Modeling Challenge
Preliminary 2D ENLIL Results from D. Odstrcil
The animations below illustrate the prediction of the solar wind parameters at the New Horizons spacecraft during its cruise phase to Pluto. Numerical simulations of more than 120 Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) during the past six months were performed using the heliospheric code ENLIL (Sumerian god of wind), developed by Dr. Dusan Odstrcil. ENLIL is implemented at the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) located at NASA GSFC and utilized by NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in operational space weather forecasting. Kinematic parameters of all CMEs are measured and stored in the web-accessible Database Of Notifications Knowledge Information (DONKI) by the CCMC's Space Weather Research Center (SWRC) team, while continuously monitoring space environment conditions in inner heliopshere in support of NASA's missions. Application to the outer helioshere is beyond the model's current capabilities and this simulation serves as an estimate. Solar wind would need around 4-5 months to propagate from the Sun to Pluto. All CMEs fitted by CCMC/SWRC in the last six months were used by ENLIL to estimate the disturbed solar wind parameters up to four months in the future. Although inaccuracies in the arrival times can be 2-3 weeks, this simulation estimates that Pluto might be immersed in a rarefaction region with very low solar wind densities, lasting for about one month, followed by a large merged interaction region in which a large increase of the ram pressure may significantly compress Pluto's atmosphere. In-situ measurements by New Horizons would provide important information toward sophistication and calibration of this and other heliospheric models.

Principal Investigator Dusan Odstrcil leads an effort to develop the "next-generation ENLIL code". This work is sponsored by NASA Living With A Star (LWS) program and supported by NASA/CCMC.
   ▻   Click here for an iSWA layout of the movie frames of the preliminary 2D ENLIL New Horizons simulations
   ▻   Access specific image frames from the 8-month simulation using the iSWA API. Change the date to any time between 2015-01-01 through 2015-08-29 to access a specific image. Example iSWA API weburl calls for a simulation frame from: movie 1, movie 2, movie3.
   ▻   Click here for an iSWA layout with interactive movies of the preliminary 2D ENLIL New Horizons simulations
        Please note: accessing this link will load three 8-month simulations, please be patient while the simulations load.


Download this movie (view with zoom out from inner planets) in mp4 format



Download this overview movie in mp4 format

2D ENLIL preliminary modeling results from 1 January 2015 to 29 August 2015 showing (a) a global view normalized solar wind number density (N R^2) contour plot in the ecliptic plane from 0.1 to 40 AU, (b) a detailed 18 AU zoom-in view at New Horizons indicated by the white box in the global view, and (c) the temporal profile of the normalized solar wind number density at New Horizons. New Horizon's trajectory is shown as white line. This simulation uses approximately 120 CMEs (with speeds > 500 km/s) within the past 8 months fitted in real-time by CCMC/SWRC, available from the DONKI database. The CME drivers are outlined in black in the (a) ecliptic plane view, and marked as the yellow periods in the (c) solar wind normalized number density profile at New Horizons. Application to the outer helioshere is beyond the model's current capabilities and this simulation serves as an illustrative concept.



Download this movie (view with zoom out from inner planets) in mp4 format

2D ENLIL preliminary modeling results from 1 January 2015 to 29 August 2015 showing (center) a global view normalized solar wind number density (N R^2) contour plot in the ecliptic plane first showing the inner planet field of view from 0.1 to 2 AU, then zooming out to 40 AU. To the left and right of the contour plot are temporal profiles of the normalized solar wind number density at various NASA spacecraft throughout the solar system. New Horizon's trajectory is shown as white line. This simulation uses approximately 120 CMEs (with speeds > 500 km/s) within the past 8 months fitted in real-time by CCMC/SWRC, available from the DONKI database. The CME drivers are outlined in black in the (center) global ecliptic plane view, and marked as the yellow periods in the solar wind normalized number density profiles (left and right) at varios spacecraft. Application to the outer helioshere is beyond the model's current capabilities and this simulation serves as an illustrative concept.



Download this movie (view with zoom out from inner planets, then zoom back into Pluto) in mp4 format

2D ENLIL preliminary modeling results from 1 January 2015 to 29 August 2015 showing (center) a global view normalized solar wind number density (N R^2) contour plot in the ecliptic plane first showing the inner planet field of view from 0.1 to 2 AU, then zooming out to 40 AU, before zooming back into Pluto. To the left and right of the contour plot are temporal profiles of the normalized solar wind number density at various NASA spacecraft throughout the solar system. New Horizon's trajectory is shown as white line. This simulation uses approximately 120 CMEs (with speeds > 500 km/s) within the past 8 months fitted in real-time by CCMC/SWRC, available from the DONKI database. The CME drivers are outlined in black in the (center) global ecliptic plane view, and marked as the yellow periods in the solar wind normalized number density profiles (left and right) at varios spacecraft. Application to the outer helioshere is beyond the model's current capabilities and this simulation serves as an illustrative concept.




Concept of space weather predictions for NASA missions at the outer planets
The animations below show that a similar concept for space weather prediction with ENLIL can be applied to other NASA missions at the outer planets, such as Cassini and Juno.

Cassini
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Download this movie in mp4 format



Juno
Download this movie in mp4 format


Download this movie in mp4 format




<< Back to New Horizons Mission Support and Flyby Modeling Challenge page
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