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Rotation of Coronal Mass Ejections During Eruption  

Benjamin J. Lynch   Submitted: 2009-03-25 20:18

Understanding the connection between coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their interplanetary counterparts (ICMEs) is one of the most important problems in solar-terrestrial physics. We calculate the rotation of erupting field structures predicted by numerical simulations of CME initiation via the magnetic breakout model. In this model the inital potential magnetic field has a multipolar toplogy and the system is driven by imposing a shear flow at the photospheric boundary. Our results yield insight on how to connect solar observations of the orientation of the filament or polarity inversion line (PIL) in the CME source region, the orientation of the CME axis as inferred from coronagraph images, and the ICME flux rope orientation obtained from in-situ measurements. We present the results of two numerical simulations that differ only in the direction of the applied shearing motions (i.e., the handedness of the sheared arcade systems and their resulting CME fields). In both simulations, eruptive flare reconnection occurs underneath the rapidly expanding sheared fields transforming the ejecta fields into 3-dimensional flux rope structures. As the erupting flux ropes propagate through the low corona (from 2-4 R⊙) the right-handed breakout flux rope rotates clockwise and the left-handed breakout flux rope rotates counterclockwise, in agreement with recent observations of the rotation of erupting filaments. We find that by 3.5 R⊙ the average rotation angle between the flux rope axes and the active region PIL is approximately 50 degrees. We discuss the implications of these results for predicting, from the observed chirality of the pre-eruption filament and/or other properties of the CME source region, the direction and amount of rotation that magnetic flux rope structures will experience during eruption. We also discuss the implications of our results for CME initiation models.

Authors: B. J. Lynch, S. K. Antiochos, Y. Li, J. G. Luhmann, C. R. DeVore

Publication Status: published in ApJ, v. 697, pp.1918-1927, 2009.
Last Modified: 2009-05-18 15:06
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The Solar Magnetic Field and Coronal Dynamics of the Eruption on 2007 May 19  

Benjamin J. Lynch   Submitted: 2008-07-01 10:07

The solar eruption on 2007 May 19, from AR 10956 near solar disk center, consisted of a B9.5 flare (12:48 UT), a filament eruption, an EUV dimming, a coronal wave, and a multifront CME. The eruption was observed by the twin STEREO spacecraft at a separation angle of 8.5 deg. We report analysis of the source region photospheric magnetic field and its preeruption evolution using MDI magnetograms, the coronal magnetic field topology estimated via PFSS modeling, and the coronal dynamics of the eruption through STEREO EUVI wavelet-enhanced anaglyph movies. Despite its moderate magnitude and size, AR 10956 was a complex and highly nonpotential active region with a multipolar configuration, and hosted frequent flares, multiple filament eruptions, and CMEs. In the 2 days prior to the May 19 eruption, the total unsigned magnetic flux of the region decreased by 17%. We interpret the photospheric magnetic field evolution, the coronal field topology, and the observed coronal dynamics in the context of current models of CME initiation and discuss the prospects for future MHD modeling inspired by these analyses.

Authors: Y. Li, B. J. Lynch, G. Stenborg, J. G. Luhmann, K. E. J. Huttunen, B. T. Welsch, P. C. Liewer, A. Vourlidas

Publication Status: ApJ, 681, L37, 2008
Last Modified: 2008-09-23 20:57
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Rotation of Coronal Mass Ejections During Eruption
The Solar Magnetic Field and Coronal Dynamics of the Eruption on 2007 May 19

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