AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 101. Coronal Mass Ejections
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Continental Ballroom B

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[101.03] LASCO Measurements of Erupting Flux Ropes

A Vourlidas, P. Subramanian (George Mason Univ.), K.P. Dere (Naval Research Lab.), R. A. Howard (Naval Research Lab)

It is commonly assumed that Coronal Mass Ejections from the Sun are magnetically driven. We address this question with data from the LASCO coronagraphs aboard the SOHO spacecraft. These observations provide fairly direct measurements of the energetics of CMEs. We determine the kinetic and gravitational energies and their evolution for several helical CMEs. We estimate the evolution of the magnetic energy based on the conservation of magnetic flux and observations of magnetic clouds near the Earth. From the magnitude and variation of these three forms of energy, we examine the energetics of CMEs from the perspective that they are driven through their internal magnetic energy.

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