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Researchers Find Key Factors for Formation of First Halo Coronal Mass Ejection in Solar Cycle 25
Author: | Update time:2021-09-26           | Print | Close | Text Size: A A A

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are one of the most spectacular phenomena in the solar atmosphere. They eject a great deal of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun into the interplanetary space at speeds ranging from a few tens to a few thousands of kilometers per second. Especially, the CMEs that are directly toward earth can produce serious geophysical effects such as interrupting radio communication and decreasing the accuracy of satellite navigation.
To better understand the formation process of the CMEs, the researchers from Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the first Halo coronal mass ejection in solar cycle 25, and found several key factors for the CME formation. The study, led by Prof. YAN Xiaoli from Yunnan Observatories, was published in The Astrophysical Journal recently.

As is well known, magnetic field plays a key role in solar eruptions. In this study, the researchers used the line-of-sight magnetograms observed by Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)/ Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) to investigate the evolution of magnetic field.

They found that the convergence motion of two opposite polarities occurred in active region NOAA 12790. When two opposite polarities approached together, the continuous magnetic cancellation occurred at the polarity inversion line (PIL) in this active region.

Due to the magnetic cancellation, a unidirectional and a bidirectional jet were found in the higher atmosphere above the site of magnetic cancellation by using the observations of SDO and New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST), and a hot channel was formed. With ongoing magnetic cancellation, the large-scale magnetic loops were formed, and several bidirectional jets occurred along the large-scale arched magnetic loops connecting the two opposite polarities.

The magnetic cancellation at the PIL resulted in the increase of the axial magnetic flux and the instability of the hot channel. The eruption of the hot channel produced a C-class flare, a cusp structure, and a halo CME. The speed of the CME reached 1400 kilometers per second.

It is worth pointing out that the observational evidence of magnetic reconnection were also observed during the occurrence of the CME. The magnetic reconnection may play a vital role in the acceleration of the CME.

Studying the formation of CMEs is very important for forecasting the occurrence of disastrous space weather. This study reveals a clear physical process of the Halo CME formation and provides important observational basis for the forecast of solar eruptions.


YAN Xiaoli,

Yunnan Observatories, CAS

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