Vol. 8 (2011) > lrsp-2011-1

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2011-1
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 8 (2011), 1

Coronal Mass Ejections: Models and Their Observational Basis

1 Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

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Article Abstract

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the largest-scale eruptive phenomenon in the solar system, expanding from active region-sized nonpotential magnetic structure to a much larger size. The bulk of plasma with a mass of ∼10^11 – 10^13 kg is hauled up all the way out to the interplanetary space with a typical velocity of several hundred or even more than 1000 km s^-1, with a chance to impact our Earth, resulting in hazardous space weather conditions. They involve many other much smaller-sized solar eruptive phenomena, such as X-ray sigmoids, filament/prominence eruptions, solar flares, plasma heating and radiation, particle acceleration, EIT waves, EUV dimmings, Moreton waves, solar radio bursts, and so on. It is believed that, by shedding the accumulating magnetic energy and helicity, they complete the last link in the chain of the cycling of the solar magnetic field. In this review, I try to explicate our understanding on each stage of the fantastic phenomenon, including their pre-eruption structure, their triggering mechanisms and the precursors indicating the initiation process, their acceleration and propagation. Particular attention is paid to clarify some hot debates, e.g., whether magnetic reconnection is necessary for the eruption, whether there are two types of CMEs, how the CME frontal loop is formed, and whether halo CMEs are special.

Keywords: Magnetic reconnection, Solar activity, Models, Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), Magnetic fields

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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

P. F. Chen,
"Coronal Mass Ejections: Models and Their Observational Basis",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 8,  (2011),  1. URL (cited on <date>):
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2011-1

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2011-1
Title Coronal Mass Ejections: Models and Their Observational Basis
Author P. F. Chen
Date accepted 3 March 2011, published 8 April 2011
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