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Disruption of a helmet streamer by photospheric shearHelmet streamers on the Sun have been observed to be the site of coronal mass ejections, dynamic events that eject coronal plasma and magnetic fields into the solar wind. We develop a two-dimensional (azimuthally symmetric) helmet streamer configuration by computing solutions of the time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, and we investigate the evolution of the configuration when photospheric shearing motions are imposed. We find that the configuration disrupts when a critical shear is exceeded, ejecting a plasmoid into the solar wind. The results are similar to the case of a sheared dipole magnetic field in a hydrostatic atmosphere (Mikic & Linker 1994). However, the presence of the outflowing solar wind makes the disruption significantly more energetic when a helmet streamer is sheared. Our resutls suggest that shearing of helmet streamers may initiate coronal mass ejections.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Linker, Jon A.
(Science Applications International Corp. San Diego, CA, United States)
Mikic, Zoran
(Science Applications International Corp. San Diego, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters
Volume: 438
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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