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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[17.08] Eruption of Magnetic Structures in the Solar Corona

Y. Mok (U. of Calif., Irvine), Z. Mikic, J. Linker (SAIC)

Magnetic structures of various geometries, including loops and arcades, are present in the solar corona. Observations indicate that the magnetic field in some of these structures can be highly sheared, implying that a substantial amount of non-potential field energy is stored in the structure. If there is a physical mechanism that can induce a transition to a lower-energy state, the magnetic energy can be released into kinetic energy of plasma motions or thermal energy. We have studied the interactions between highly sheared structures (loops and arcades) and an emerging potential field structure by 3-D numerical simulations. It was found that the emerging structure can induce an MHD instability that leads to the release of magnetic energy into plasma kinetic energy at a rate near the ideal MHD time scale. A specific example is the eruption along the neutral line of a long, narrow, sheared arcade, which can be used to model a prominence eruption or a coronal mass ejection.

This work was supported by NASA SPTP. Computational resource was provided by the San Diego Supercomputer Center through NSF.

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