Magnetic reconnection and mass acceleration in flare-coronal mass ejection events

Jiong Qiu, Haimin Wang, C. Z. Cheng, Dale Gary

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169 Scopus citations


An observational relationship has been well established among magnetic reconnection, high-energy flare emissions and the rising motion of erupting flux ropes. In this paper, we verify that the rate of magnetic reconnection in the low corona is temporally correlated with the evolution of flare nonthermal emissions in hard X-rays and microwaves, all reaching their peak values during the rising phase of the soft X-ray emission. In addition, however, our new observations reveal a temporal correlation between the magnetic reconnection rate and the directly observed acceleration of the accompanying coronal mass ejection (CME) and filament in the low corona, thus establishing a correlation with the rising flux rope. These results are obtained by examining two well-observed two-ribbon flare events, for which we have good measurements of the rise motion of filament eruption and CMEs associated with the flares. By measuring the magnetic flux swept through by flare ribbons as they separate in the lower atmosphere, we infer the magnetic reconnection rate in terms of the reconnection electric field Erec inside the reconnecting current sheet (RCS) and the rate of magnetic flux convected into the diffusion region. For the X1.6 flare event, the inferred Erec is ∼5.8 V cm -1 and the peak mass acceleration is ∼3 km s-2, while for the M1.0 flare event Erec is ∼0.5 V cm-1 and the peak mass acceleration is 0.2-0.4 km s-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-905
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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