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Speeds of coronal mass ejections: SMM observations from 1980 and 1984-1989The speeds of 936 features in 673 coronal mass ejections have been determined from trajectories observed with the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) coronagraph in 1980 and 1984 to 1989. The distribution of observed speeds has a range (from 5th to 95th percentile) of 35 to 911 km/s; the average and median speeds are 349 and 285 km/s. The speed distributions of some selected classes of mass ejections are significantly different. For example, the speeds of 331 'outer loops' range from 80 to 1042 km/s; the average and median speeds for this class of ejections are 445 and 372 km/s. The speed distributions from each year of SMM observations show significant changes, with the annual average speeds varying from 157 (1984) to 458 km/s (1985). These variations are not simply related to the solar activity cycle; the annual averages from years near the sunspot maxima and minimum are not significantly different. The widths, latitudes, and speeds of mass ejections determined from the SMM observations are only weakly correlated. In particular, mass ejection speeds vary only slightly with the heliographic latitudes of the ejection. High-latitude ejections, which occur well poleward of the active latitudes, have speeds similar to active latitude ejections.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Hundhausen, A. J. (National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO United States)
Burkepile, J. T. (National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO United States)
St. Cyr, O. C. (National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 99
Issue: A4
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits