First Measurements of the Complete Heavy-ion Charge State Distributions of C, O, and Fe Associated with Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections
We present the first analysis of the complete charge state distributions of heavy ions in interplanetary coronal mass ejections (CMEs), from singly charged to fully ionized. We develop a novel analysis technique that requires the combination and cross-calibration of two different data sets from the Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer on the Advanced Composition Explorer. The first contains ions of higher charge states, and includes an identification of their mass, mass-per-charge, and energy-per-charge. The second data set contains singly and low-charge ions, and identifies only their mass-per-charge and energy-per-charge. Focusing on C, O, and Fe, we find ionic charge states representative of temperatures from <=60,000 K to over 5,000,000 K contained within interplanetary CMEs observed near 1 AU. We interpret these data in the context of near-Sun observations of filament material associated with CMEs. We find that singly charged ions are embedded within selected interplanetary CMEs, and we examine their densities and durations. These data thus provide the most unambiguous in situ diagnostic of solar prominence plasma in the heliosphere.