Volume 521, October 2010
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Published online||20 October 2010|
Evidence for magnetic flux cancelation leading to an ejective solar eruption observed by Hinode, TRACE, STEREO, and SoHO/MDI*
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, VP62/Space Science Office, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, CMS, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA, UK e-mail: email@example.com
3 George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
4 Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA
Accepted: 19 March 2010
Aims. We study the onset of a solar eruption involving a filament ejection on 2007 May 20.
Methods. We observe the filament in Hα images from Hinode/SOT and in EUV with TRACE and STEREO/SECCHI/EUVI. Hinode/XRT images are used to study the eruption in soft X-rays. From spectroscopic data taken with Hinode/EIS we obtain bulk-flow velocities, line profiles, and plasma densities in the onset region. The magnetic field evolution was observed in SoHO/MDI magnetograms.
Results. We observed a converging motion between two opposite polarity sunspots that form the primary magnetic polarity inversion line (PIL), along which resides filament material before eruption. Positive-flux magnetic elements, perhaps moving magnetic features (MMFs) flowing from the spot region, appear north of the spots, and the eruption onset occurs where these features cancel repeatedly in a negative-polarity region north of the sunspots. An ejection of material observed in Hα and EUV marks the start of the filament eruption (its “fast-rise”). The start of the ejection is accompanied by a sudden brightening across the PIL at the jet's base, observed in both broad-band images and in EIS. Small-scale transient brightenings covering a wide temperature range (Log Te = 4.8-6.3) are also observed in the onset region prior to eruption. The preflare transient brightenings are characterized by sudden, localized density enhancements (to above Log ne [ cm-3] = 9.75, in ) that appear along the PIL during a time when pre-flare brightenings were occurring. The measured densities in the eruption onset region outside the times of those enhancements decrease with temperature. Persistent downflows (red-shifts) and line-broadening () are present along the PIL.
Conclusions. The array of observations is consistent with the pre-eruption sheared-core magnetic field being gradually destabilized by evolutionary tether-cutting flux cancelation that was driven by converging photospheric flows, and the main filament ejection being triggered by flux cancelation between the positive flux elements and the surrounding negative field. A definitive statement however on the eruption's ultimate cause would require comparison with simulations, or additional detailed observations of other eruptions occurring in similar magnetic circumstances.
Key words: Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: UV radiation / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / Sun: flares
The video that accompanies Fig. 3 is only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2010
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