Multiwavelength Observations of the Formation and Eruption of a Complex Filament

Y. Zhang, T. S. Bastian, J. H. Liu, S. J. Yu, S. Feng, J. Chen, Y. H. Yan

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7 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of the formation and eruption of a filament and fast coronal mass ejection associated with a flare that occurred in active region 11429 using observations in the ultraviolet, extreme ultraviolet, X-ray, and radio wavelength bands. Precursor activity began as an interaction between two filaments, F1 and F2, that are identified as having twisted magnetic flux ropes (MFRs). Transient brightenings in all wavelengths are observed as a result of this interaction, likely the result of magnetic reconnection between the two filaments. This interaction results in a reconfiguration of the two filaments into a long overlying filament and a shorter low-lying filament. The upper filament subsequently undergoes a partial confined eruption. Plasma flows originating near the east footpoint of F1 lead to an extension of the upper filament into the filament channel to the west, resulting in a new active region filament (ARF). This new filament begins a slow rise and expansion. During its slowly rising phase, the MFR in which the filament is embedded becomes visible, with both the filament and flux rope rising and expanding simultaneously. The twist of the magnetic rope is determined as four turns. The erupting configuration changes from a twisted arch shape to a reversed γ shape within ∼75 s at the beginning of the fast-rise phase, representing a transformation from twist to writhe. The observations provide a clear example of filament formation via the tether-cutting reconnection of two nearby filaments. A helical kink instability may be the trigger of the ARF eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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