Minifilament eruption on the quiet Sun. I. Observations at Hα central line

Jingxiu Wang, Wei Li, Carsten Denker, Chikyin Lee, Haimin Wang, Philip R. Goode, Alan McAllister, Sara F. Martin

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The eruption of miniature filaments on the quiet Sun has been analyzed from time sequences of digital Hα filtergrams obtained at Big Bear Solar Observatory during 1997 September 18-24. The 2 days with the best image quality were selected for this initial study. During 13 hr of time-lapse observations on these 2 days, in an effective 640″ × 480″ area of quiet Sun close to the disk center, 88 erupting miniature filaments were identified. On average, these small-scale erupting filaments have a projected length of 19,000 km, an observed ejection speed of 13 km s-1, and a mean lifetime of 50 minutes from first appearance through eruption. The total mass and kinetic energy involved in a miniature filament eruption is estimated to be 1013 g and 1025 ergs, respectively. They are distinguished from macrospicules by the same criteria that large-scale filaments, before and during eruption, are distinguished from surges. Prior to eruption, one end, both ends, or the midsection of a miniature filament is superposed over a polarity reversal boundary on line-of-sight magnetograms. We conclude that miniature filaments are the small-scale analog to large-scale filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1084
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
StatePublished - Feb 20 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: filaments


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