34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 5 Coronal Mass Ejections I
Poster, Monday, June 16, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[5.10] Dynamical and Physical Properties of a Post-CME Current Sheet

Y.-K. Ko, J. C. Raymond, J. Lin (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), G. Lawrence (Catholic University of America), J. Li (University of Hawaii), A. Fludra (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

In the eruptive process of the Kopp-Pneuman type, the closed magnetic field is stretched by the eruption so much that it is usually believed to be ``open'' to infinity. Formation of the current sheet in such a configuration makes it possible for the energy in the coronal magnetic field to quickly convert into thermal and kinetic energies, and cause significant observational consequences. A CME eruption on January 8, 2002 provides us a good opportunity to look into these observational signatures of and place constraints on the theories of eruptions. This event started with the expansion of a magnetic arcade, developed into a CME, and left some thin streamer-like structures with successively growing loop systems beneath them. The plasma outflow and the highly ionized states of the plasma inside these streamer-like structures, as well as the growing loops beneath them lead us to conclude that these structures are associated with a magnetic reconnection site, namely the current sheet, of this eruptive process. We combine the data from UVCS, LASCO, EIT, and CDS on board SOHO, as well as data from MLSO MK4, to investigate the morphological and dynamical properties of this event, as well as the physical properties of the current sheet. The velocity and acceleration of the CME reached up to 1800 km s-1 and 1 km s-2, respectively. The acceleration are found to mainly occur at the lower corona. The post-CME loop systems showed both behaviors of post-flare loops and soft X-ray giant arches. In the current sheet, UVCS spectra suggest temperature as high as 3-4 million degrees, and the plasma outflows have speeds ranging from 300 km/s to 650 km/s. Absolute elemental abundances in the current sheet show a strong FIP effect, and have values similar to those found in the active region streamers.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.