Volume 540, April 2012
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||02 April 2012|
Break up of returning plasma after the 7 June 2011 filament eruption by Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities⋆
1 Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, SUPA, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
3 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 446-701 Gyeonggi, Korea
Received: 28 November 2011
Accepted: 29 February 2012
Context. A prominence eruption on 7 June 2011 produced spectacular curtains of plasma falling through the lower corona. At the solar surface they created an incredible display of extreme ultraviolet brightenings.
Aims. To identify and analyze some of the local instabilities which produce structure in the falling plasma.
Methods. The structures were investigated using SDO/AIA 171 Å and 193 Å images in which the falling plasma appeared dark against the bright coronal emission.
Results. Several instances of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability were investigated. In two cases the Alfvén velocity associated with the dense plasma could be estimated from the separation of the Rayleigh-Taylor fingers. A second type of feature, which has the appearance of self-similar branching horns was discussed.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / instabilities
Appendix A and two movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2012
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