The initiation of coronal mass ejections by magnetic flux emergence
Centrum voor Plasma Astrofysica, K. U. Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 July 2006
Aims.The initiation of solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) is studied in the framework of computational Magneto-Hydro-Dynamics (MHD).
Methods.The initial configuration includes a magnetic flux rope that is embedded in a gravitationally stratified solar atmosphere with a background dipole magnetic field in spherical, axi-symmetric geometry. The flux rope is in equilibrium due to an image current below the photosphere. An emerging magnetic flux triggering mechanism is used to make this equilibrium configuration unstable.
Results. When the magnetic flux emerges within the filament below the flux rope this results in a catastrophic behavior similar to earlier, more simple models. As a result, the flux rope rises and a current sheet forms below it. It is shown that the magnetic reconnection in the current sheet below the flux rope in combination with the outward curvature forces results in a fast ejection of the flux rope as observed for solar CMEs. We have done a parameter study of the effect of the flux emergence rate on the velocity and the acceleration of the resulting CMEs.
Key words: Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: magnetic fields / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
© ESO, 2006