Solar Physics Division Meeting 2000, June 19-22
Session 2. Corona, Solar Wind, Flares, CMEs, Solar-stellar, Instrumentation, Other
Display, Chair: J. Krall, Monday-Thursday, June 19, 2000, 8:00am-6:00pm, Forum Ballroom

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[2.81] Photospheric Magnetic Flux Changes as a Trigger for Coronal Mass Ejections

J. A. Linker, R. Lionello, Z. Mikic (Science Applications International Corporation), T. Amari (Centre de Physique Theorique, Ecole Polytechnique)

Eruptive solar phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections, are believed to be initiated by the release of energy stored in the coronal magnetic field. Nonpotential magnetic field structures with significant amounts of free magnetic energy are known to exist in the corona. However, the mechanism(s) by which this energy is released are not well understood. Previously, we have shown that the emergence of new magnetic flux can lead to disruption of a helmet streamer, with liberation of a significant fraction of the stored magnetic energy. Specifically, eruption can be triggered when magnetic flux of opposite polarity emerges near the neutral line, canceling some of the ambient flux. Prior to eruption, a stable flux rope forms, which is a candidate magnetic structure for prominence support.

In this paper, we will describe how other changes to the photospheric magnetic flux can lead to essentialy the same eruptive process, and we will discuss the relationship of these changes to flux reduction. Using full thermodynamic MHD simulations of global coronal structure, we will also show that chromospheric material can indeed be trapped in flux rope structures and lifted against the solar gravity.

Research supported by NASA.

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