Predicting Coronal Mass Ejections

by Monica Bobra

A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) throws magnetic flux and plasma from the Sun into interplanetary space. In fact, CMEs and solar flares are considered “a single magnetically driven event” (Webb & Howard 2012), wherein a flare unassociated with a CME is called a confined or compact flare.

In general, the more energetic a flare, the more likely it is to be associated with a CME (Yashiro et al. 2005) – but this is not, by any means, a rule. For example, Sun et al. (2015) found that the largest active region in the last 24 years produced 6 X-class flares but not a single observed CME.

In the following notebook, we will be predicting whether or not a flaring active region will also emit a CME using a machine learning algorithm from the scikit-learn package called a Support Vector Machine.

The analysis that follows is published in Bobra & Ilonidis, 2016, Astrophysical Journal, 821, 127.