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Investigating the Dynamics and Density Evolution of Returning Plasma Blobs from the 2011 June 7 Eruption  

Jack Carlyle   Submitted: 2014-01-22 23:53

This work examines infalling matter following an enormous Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on 2011 June 7. The material formed discrete concentrations, or blobs, in the corona and fell back to the surface, appearing as dark clouds against the bright corona. In this work we examined the density and dynamic evolution of these blobs in order to formally assess the intriguing morphology displayed throughout their descent. The blobs were studied in five wavelengths (94, 131, 171, 193 and 211 Angstrom) using the Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA), comparing background emission to attenuated emission as a function of wavelength to calculate column densities across the descent of four separate blobs. We found the material to have a column density of hydrogen of approximately 2 x 1019 cm-2, which is comparable with typical pre-eruption filament column densities. Repeated splitting of the returning material is seen in a manner consistent with the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Furthermore, the observed distribution of density and its evolution are also a signature of this instability. By approximating the three-dimensional geometry (with data from STEREO-A), volumetric densities were found to be approximately 2 x 10-14 g cm-3, and this, along with observed dominant length-scales of the instability, was used to infer a magnetic field of the order 1 G associated with the descending blobs.

Authors: Jack Carlyle, David R. Williams, Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi, Davina Innes, Andrew Hillier, Sarah Matthews
Projects: SDO-AIA

Publication Status: In press, ApJ
Last Modified: 2014-01-23 10:23
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Investigating the Dynamics and Density Evolution of Returning Plasma Blobs from the 2011 June 7 Eruption

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