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A Parametric Study of Erupting Flux Rope Rotation. Modeling the ''Cartwheel CME'' on 9 April 2008 View all abstracts by submitter

Bernhard Kliem   Submitted: 2011-12-16 08:03

The rotation of erupting filaments in the solar corona is addressed through aparametric simulation study of unstable, rotating flux ropes in bipolarforce-free initial equilibrium. The Lorentz force due to the external shearfield component and the relaxation of tension in the twisted field are themajor contributors to the rotation in this model, while reconnection with theambient field is of minor importance. Both major mechanisms writhe the fluxrope axis, converting part of the initial twist helicity, and produce rotationprofiles which, to a large part, are very similar in a range of shear-twistcombinations. A difference lies in the tendency of twist-driven rotation tosaturate at lower heights than shear-driven rotation. For parameterscharacteristic of the source regions of erupting filaments and coronal massejections, the shear field is found to be the dominant origin of rotations inthe corona and to be required if the rotation reaches angles of order 90degrees and higher; it dominates even if the twist exceeds the threshold of thehelical kink instability. The contributions by shear and twist to the totalrotation can be disentangled in the analysis of observations if the rotationand rise profiles are simultaneously compared with model calculations. Theresulting twist estimate allows one to judge whether the helical kinkinstability occurred. This is demonstrated for the erupting prominence in the'Cartwheel CME' on 9 April 2008, which has shown a rotation of approx 115degrees up to a height of 1.5 R above the photosphere. Out of a range ofinitial equilibria which include strongly kink-unstable (twist Phi=5pi), weaklykink-unstable (Phi=3.5pi), and kink-stable (Phi=2.5pi) configurations, only theevolution of the weakly kink-unstable flux rope matches the observations intheir entirety.

Authors: B. Kliem, T. Toeroek, W. T. Thompson
Projects: STEREO

Publication Status: Solar Physics, submitted
Last Modified: 2011-12-19 09:10
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