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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[5.16] Parametric Study of CME Acceleration

S. T. Wu (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, U. Alabama, Huntsville), T. X. Zhang (Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, U. Alabama, Huntsville), C. F. Fry (Exploration Physics International, Inc., and Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, U. Alabama, Huntsville), A. Tan (Dept. of Physics, Alabama A & M U.)

Observations obtained by Skylab and SMM using HAO/CP (MacQueen and Fisher, 1983) and by the recent SOHO/LASCO mission (Andrews and Howard, 2001) indicate that there at two distinct types of CMEs with different kinematic characteristics. These are (a) constant velocity CMEs and (b) accelerated CMEs. Recently, Low and Zhang (2002) have proposed a theoretical model based on specific magnetic topology which could explain these two types of CME kinematic properties. This theoretical model was attested by observation (Zhang et al. 2002) and simulated by using MHD models (Liu et al. 2002).

To investigate the potential mechanisms to reveal these two types of CME kinematic properties, we have used a 2-D streamer and flux-rope MHD model (Wu and Guo, 1997) by specifying the total magnetic energy content of the streamer and flux-rope system which forms a perturbation at the lower boundary.

Our results show (a) that the accelerated CMEs are due solely to the flux-rope eruption which destabilizes the streamer and (b) that the constant speed CMEs are due to drainage of flux rope material with additional heat. The results also showed that the higher the magnetic energy content of the system, the higher the CME propagation speed.

Work by STW and TXZ is supported by a NASA grant NAG5-12843 and CDF's work is supported by NASA Grant NAG5-12527 and the DOD University Partnering for Operational Support (UPOS) program.


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