The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in CME Acceleration
Authors: Wu, S.; Zhang, T.; Dryer, M.; Feng, X.; Tan, Arjun
Source: Space Science Reviews, Volume 121, Numbers 1-4, November 2005 , pp. 33-47(15)
Abstract:Observations carried out from the coronagraphs on board space missions (LASCO/SOHO, Solar Maximum and Skylab) and ground-based facilities (HAO/Mauna Loa Observatory) show that coronal mass ejections (CMEs) can be classified into two classes based on their kinematics evolution. These two classes of CMEs are so-called fast and slow CMEs. The fast CME starts with a high initial speed that remains more or less constant; it is also called the constant-speed CME. On the other hand, the slow CME starts with a low initial speed, but shows a gradual acceleration; it is also called the accelerated and slow CME. Low and Zhang [Astrophys. J. 564, L53–L56, 2002] suggested that these two classes of CMEs could be a result of a difference in the initial topology of the magnetic fields associated with the underlying quiescent prominences. A normal prominence magnetic field topology will lead to a fast CME, while an inverse quiescent prominence results in a slow CME, because of the nature of the magnetic reconnection processes. In a recent study given by Wu et al. [Solar Phys. 225, 157–175, 2004], it was shown that an inverse quiescent prominence magnetic topology also could produce a fast CME. In this study, we perform a numerical MHD simulation for CMEs occurring in both normal and inverse quiescent prominence magnetic topology. This study demonstrates three major physical processes responsible for destabilization of these two types of prominence magnetic field topologies that can launch CMEs. These three initiation processes are identical to those used by Wu et al. [Solar Phys. 225, 157–175, 2004]. The simulations show that both fast and slow CMEs can be initiated from these two different types of magnetic topologies. However, the normal quiescent prominence magnetic topology does show the possibility for launching a reconnection island (or secondary O-line) that might be thought of as a “CME’’.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: email@example.com
Publication date: November 1, 2005