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Onset of the Magnetic Explosion in Filament-Eruption Flares and CMEs

Ron Moore


We present three-dimensional sketches of the magnetic field before and during filament eruptions in flares and coronal mass ejections.  Before the eruption, the overall magnetic field is a closed bipole in which the core field (the field rooted along the bipoleís neutral line in the photospheric magnetic flux) is strongly sheared and has oppositely curved ìelbowsî that bulge out from the opposite ends of the neutral line.  This core-field sigmoid runs under and is pressed down in the middle by the rest of the field in the bipole, the less-sheared envelope field rooted outside the core field (as in the model of Antiochos, Dahlburg, & Klimchuk 1994, ApJ, 420, L41).  A filament of chromospheric-temperature plasma is often held in the core field over the neutral line.  In a filament eruption, the core field undergoes an explosive eruption, the frozen-in filament plasma providing a visible tracer of the erupting field.  The core-field explosion may be either confined (as in some flares) or ejective (as in CMEs that begin together with the onset of a long-duration two-ribbon flare).  We present examples of each of these two kind of events as observed in sequences of coronal X-ray images from the Yohkoh SXT, and consider (1) how the explosion begins, and (2) whether confined eruptions begin in basically the same way as ejective eruptions.

     Authors: Ron Moore and Alphonse Sterling

  Organization: NASA/MSFC
     Telephone: (256) 544-7613
           Fax: (256) 544-5862
        e-mail: Ron.Moore@msfc.nasa.gov
       Address: Code SD50
   Marshall Space Flight Center
   Huntsville, AL 35812

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