April 30, 2013
This animated movie shows the simulated solar wind velocity from March 21 to May 10, 2013. The circular plot on the left is a view from above the North pole of the Sun and Earth, as if looking down from above. The Sun is in the center and the Earth is the yellow circle at one astronomical unit (AU). Also shown are the locations of the two STEREO satellites, Spitzer and the inner planets. The wedge-shaped plot in the middle provides a side view cutting through Earth, with north at the top and south at the bottom (the model has a latitudinal coverage of -45 degree to +45 degree). (The right plot is a bit hard to explain. It shows the Mercator projection of the 1AU spheric surface. It is intended to show the azimuthal or longitudinal structure of the solar wind.)
For more information:
The Space Weather Research Center at NASA Goddard (http://swrc.gsfc.nasa.gov) has the model running in real-time in two modes: one for the ambient solar wind (the simulation results can be found on iSWA - http://iswa.gsfc.nasa.gov under the tab 'Heliosphere') and the other is for whenever a CME(s) occurs (can be found on iSWA under the tab called 'Events'). But the outer boundary of the model is usually set as two AU. The outer boundary for the Cassini auroral campaign runs is extended to 10 AU to include Saturn.
Credit: Goddard Space Flight Center