AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 17. Coronal Mass Ejections
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[17.05] Role of Eruptive Prominences in Dynamics of Coronal Mass Ejections

F. Bagenal (LASP/APS, Univ. of Colorado), S.J. Lipscy (LASP/Univ. of Colorado)

In an effort to understand the triggering and acceleration processes that occur before and during coronal mass ejections (CMEs), we analyze the motion and trajectories of several eruptive prominence events associated with CMEs. Using movies from the high time cadence Mauna Loa Solar Observatory H-alpha observations, we follow individual features of the erupting prominence and plot the movement of those features. Such an analysis reveals material draining down the magnetic field lines of the prominence legs, as well as material being accelerated from the sun as the core of the CME. We estimate the amount of prominence material that leaves the sun during the eruption by measuring the relative intensities of the material that is expelled to that which stays behind. We find that the orientation of the prominence with respect to the solar equator affects the viewing of the prominence eruption; some orientations cause prominence material to be hidden either by the occulting disk or the solar disk itself. We see a greater fraction of material leaving, as estimated by relative intensity, when these orientations are observed. Finally, we compare the amount of material expelled during a prominence eruption to the measured acceleration of the CME to learn about the effect of the prominence material on the overlying structure's movement. Preliminary results show that the fraction of prominence material expelled is inversely related to the acceleration of the CME. This suggests that the prominence may play an important role in the dynamics of CMEs.

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