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Title: The formation and launch of a coronal mass ejection flux rope: a narrative based on observations

We present a data-driven narrative of the launch and early evolution of the magnetic structure that gave rise to the coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2008 December 12. The structure formed on December 7 and launched early on December 12. We interpret this structure as a flux rope based on prelaunch morphology, postlaunch magnetic measurements, and the lack of large-scale magnetic reconnection signatures at launch. We ascribe three separate onset mechanisms to the complete disconnection of the flux rope from the Sun. It took 19 hr for the flux rope to be fully removed from the Sun, by which time the segment that first disconnected was around 40 R {sub ☉} away. This implies that the original flux rope was stretched or broken; we provide evidence for a possible bisection. A transient dark arcade was observed on the Sun that was later obscured by a bright arcade, which we interpret as the strapping field stretching and magnetically reconnecting as it disconnected from the coronal field. We identify three separate structures in coronagraph images to be manifestations of the same original flux rope, and we describe the implications for CME interpretation. We cite the rotation in the central flux rope vectormore » of the magnetic clouds observed in situ by ACE/Wind and STEREO-B as evidence of the kink instability of the eastern segment of the flux rope. Finally, we discuss possible alternative narratives, including multiple prelaunch magnetic structures and the nonflux rope scenario. Our results support the view that, in at least some CMEs, flux rope formation occurs before launch.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370009
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 796; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; IMAGES; KINK INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MASS; ROTATION; SOLAR WIND; STAR EVOLUTION; STELLAR CORONAE; SUN; TRANSIENTS