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LASCO Measurements of the Energetics of Coronal Mass Ejections View all abstracts by submitter

Angelos Vourlidas   Submitted: 1999-12-03 13:05

We examine the energetics of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) with data from the LASCO coronagraphs on SOHO. The LASCO observations provide fairly direct measurements of the mass, velocity and dimensions of CMEs. Using these basic measurements, we determine the potential and kinetic energies and their evolution for several CMEs that exhibit a flux-rope morphology. Assuming flux conservation, we use observations of the magnetic flux in a variety of magnetic clouds near the Earth to determine the magnetic flux and magnetic energy in CMEs near the Sun. We find that the potential and kinetic energies increase at the expense of the magnetic energy as the CME moves out, keeping the total energy roughly constant. This demonstrates that flux rope CMEs are magnetically driven. Furthermore, since their total energy is constant, the flux rope parts of the CMEs can be considered to be a closed system above about 2 solar radii.

Authors: Vourlidas, A., Subramanian, P, Dere, K.P., Howard, R.A.

Publication Status: ApJ (accepted)
Last Modified: 1999-12-03 13:05
Go to main E-Print page  The Relationship of Coronal Mass Ejections to Streamers
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