Hα proxies for eit crinkles: Further evidence for preflare "breakout"-type activity in an ejective solar eruption

Alphonse C. Sterling, Ronald L. Moore, Jiong Qiu, Haimin Wang

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43 Scopus citations


We present Hα observations from Big Bear Solar Observatory of an eruptive flare in NOAA Active Region 8210, occurring near 22:30 UT on 1998 May 1. Previously, using the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the SOHO spacecraft, we found that a pattern of transient, localized brightenings, which we call "EIT crinkles," appears in the neighborhood of the eruption near the time of flare onset. These EIT crinkles occur at a location in the active region well separated from the sheared core magnetic fields, which is where the most intense features of the eruption are concentrated. We also previously found that high-cadence images from the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) on Yohkoh indicate that soft X-ray intensity enhancements in the core begin after the start of the EIT crinkles. With the Hα data, we find remote flare brightening counterparts to the EIT crinkles. Light curves as functions of time of various areas of the active region show that several of the remote flare brightenings undergo intensity increases prior to the onset of principal brightenings in the core region, consistent with our earlier findings from EIT and SXT data. These timing relationships are consistent with the eruption onset mechanism known as the breakout model, introduced by Antiochos and colleagues, which proposes that eruptions begin with reconnection at a magnetic null high above the core region. Our observations are also consistent with other proposed mechanisms that do not involve early reconnection in the core region. As a corollary, our observations are not consistent with the so-called tether-cutting models, which say that the eruption begins with reconnection in the core. The Hα data further show that a filament in the core region becomes activated near the time of EIT crinkle onset, but little if any of the filament actually erupts, despite the presence of a halo coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1126
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Nov 10 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: UV radiation
  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares


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