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Initiation of Solar Eruptions: Recent Observations and Implications for TheoriesSolar eruptions involve the violent disruption of a system of magnetic field. Just how the field is destabilized and explodes to produce flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) is still being debated in the solar community. Here I discuss recent observational work into these questions by ourselves (me and my colleagues) and others. Our work has concentrated mainly on eruptions that include filaments. We use the filament motion early in the event as a tracer of the motion of the general erupting coronal field in and around the filament, since that field itself is hard to distinguish otherwise. Our main data sources are EUV images from SOHO/EIT and TRACE, soft Xray images from Yohkoh, and magnetograms from SOHO/MDI, supplemented with coronagraph images from SOHO/LASCO, hard X-ray data, and ground-based observations. We consider the observational findings in terms of three proposed eruption-initiation mechanisms: (i) runaway internal tether-cutting reconnection, (ii) slow external tether-cutting reconnection ("breakout"), and (iii) ideal MHD instability.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sterling, A. C. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Meeting Information
Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (WPGM) American Geophysical Meeting(Beijing)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.