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Toward understanding the early stages of an impulsively accelerated coronal mass ejection View all abstracts by submitter

Spiros Patsourakos   Submitted: 2010-08-09 08:03

The expanding magnetic flux in coronal mass ejections (CMEs) often forms a cavity. A spherical model is simultaneously fit to STEREO EUVI and COR1 data of an impulsively accelerated CME on 25 March 2008, which displays a well-defined extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and white-light cavity of nearly circular shape already at low heights ~ 0.2 Rs. The center height h(t) and radial expansion r(t) of the cavity are obtained in the whole height range of the main acceleration. We interpret them as the axis height and as a quantity proportional to the minor radius of a flux rope, respectively. The three-dimensional expansion of the CME exhibits two phases in the course of its main upward acceleration. From the first h and r data points, taken shortly after the onset of the main acceleration, the erupting flux shows an overexpansion compared to its rise, as expressed by the decrease of the aspect ratio from k=h/r ~ 3 to k ~ (1.5-2.0). This phase is approximately coincident with the impulsive rise of the acceleration and is followed by a phase of very gradual change of the aspect ratio (a nearly self-similar expansion) toward k ~ 1.5 at h ~ 10 Rs. The initial overexpansion of the CME cavity can be caused by flux conservation around a rising flux rope of decreasing axial current and by the addition of flux to a growing, or even newly forming,flux rope by magnetic reconnection. Further analysis will be required to decide which of these contributions is dominant. The data also suggest that the horizontal component of the impulsive cavity expansion (parallel to the solar surface) triggers the associated EUV wave, which subsequently detaches from the CME volume.

Authors: S. Patsourakos, A. Vourlidas, B. Kliem
Projects: STEREO

Publication Status: A&A, 2010, in press
Last Modified: 2010-08-09 08:03
Go to main E-Print page  Modeling UV and X-Ray Emission in a Post-CME Current Sheet  Reconnection of a kinking flux rope triggering the ejection of a microwave and hard X-ray source. I. Observations and interpretation  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Delete Entry 

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