Comparison of the 1998 April 29 M6.8 and 1998 November 5 M8.4 flares

Haimin Wang, Philip R. Goode, Carsten Denker, Guo Yang, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, Nariaki Nitta, Joseph B. Gurman, Chris St. Cyr, Alexander Kosovichev

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34 Scopus citations


We combined, and analyzed in detail, the Hα and magnetograph data from Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), full-disk magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on board Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), coronagraph data from the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) of SOHO, Fe XII 195 Å data from the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) of SOHO, and Yohkoh soft X-ray telescope (SXT) data of the M6.8 flare of 1998 April 29 in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) region 8375 and the M8.4 flare of 1998 November 5 in NOAA region 8384. These two flares have remarkable similarities: 1. Partial halo coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were observed for both events. For the 1998 April 29 event, even though the flare occurred in the southeast of the disk center, the ejected material moved predominantly across the equator, and the central part of the CME occurred in the northeast limb. The direction in which the cusp points in the postflare SXT images determines the dominant direction of the CMEs. 2. Coronal dimming was clearly observed in EIT Fe XII 195 Å for both but was not observed in Yohkoh SXT for either event. Dimming started 2 hr before the onset of the flares, indicating large-scale coronal restructuring before both flares. 3. No global or local photospheric magnetic field change was detected from either event; in particular, no magnetic field change was found in the dimming areas. 4. Both events lasted several hours and, thus, could be classified as long duration events (LDEs). However, they are different in the following important aspects. For the 1998 April 29 event, the flare and the CME are associated with an erupting filament in which the two initial ribbons were well connected and then gradually separated. SXT preflare images show the classical S-shape sheared configuration (sigmoid structure). For the 1998 November 5 event, two initial ribbons were well separated, and the SXT preflare image shows the interaction of at least two loops. In addition, no filament eruption was observed. We conclude that even though these two events resulted in similar coronal consequences, they are due to two distinct physical processes: eruption of sheared loops and interaction of two loops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-981
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 20 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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