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Reverse Current Model for Coronal Mass Ejection Cavity Formation

Haw, Magnus A. and Wongwaitayakornkul, Pakorn and Li, Hui and Bellan, Paul M. (2018) Reverse Current Model for Coronal Mass Ejection Cavity Formation. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 862 (2). Art. No. L15. ISSN 2041-8213. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aad33c.

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We report here a new model for explaining the three-part structure of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). The model proposes that the cavity in a CME forms because a rising electric current in the core prominence induces an oppositely directed electric current in the background plasma; this eddy current is required to satisfy the frozen-in magnetic flux condition in the background plasma. The magnetic force between the inner-core electric current and the oppositely directed induced eddy current propels the background plasma away from the core, creating a cavity and a density pileup at the cavity edge. The cavity radius saturates when an inward restoring force from magnetic and hydrodynamic pressure in the region outside the cavity edge balances the outward magnetic force. The model is supported by (i) laboratory experiments showing the development of a cavity as a result of the repulsion of an induced reverse current by a rising inner-core flux-rope current, (ii) 3D numerical magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations that reproduce the laboratory experiments in quantitative detail, and (iii) an analytic model that describes cavity formation as a result of the plasma containing the induced reverse current being repelled from the inner core. This analytic model has broad applicability because the predicted cavity widths are relatively independent of both the current injection mechanism and the injection timescale.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Haw, Magnus A.0000-0001-5739-5160
Wongwaitayakornkul, Pakorn0000-0001-7455-8582
Li, Hui0000-0003-3556-6568
Bellan, Paul M.0000-0002-0886-8782
Additional Information:© 2018 American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 April 19; revised 2018 July 6; accepted 2018 July 11; published 2018 July 31. This work was supported by NSF under award 1348393, AFOSR under award FA9550-11-1-0184, and DOE under awards DE-FG02-04ER54755 and DE-SC0010471. H.L. acknowledges support from the DoE/OFES and LANL/LDRD programs.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-11-1-0184
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-04ER54755
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0010471
Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:methods: laboratory: atomic – Sun: corona – Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – Sun: filaments, prominences – Sun: magnetic fields
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180801-103010822
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Magnus A. Haw et al 2018 ApJL 862 L15
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88437
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Aug 2018 18:17
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:26

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