We present new observations of the interactions of two close, but distinct, Hα filaments and their successive eruptions on 5 November 1998. The magnetic fields of the filaments are both of the sinistral type. The interactions between the two filaments were initiated mainly by an active filament of one of them. Before the filament eruptions, two dark plasma ejections and chromospheric brightenings were observed. They indicate that possible magnetic reconnection had occurred between the two filaments. During the first filament eruption, salient dark mass motions transferring from the left erupting filament into the right one were observed. The right filament erupted 40 minutes later. This second filament eruption may have been the result of a loss of stability owing to the sudden mass injection from the left filament. Based on the Hα observations, we have created a sketch for understanding the interactions between two filaments and accompanying activities. The traditional theory of filament merger requires that the filaments share the same filament channel and that the reconnection occurs between the two heads, as simulated by DeVore, Antiochos, and Aulanier (Astrophys. J. 629, 1122, 2005; 646, 1349, 2006). Our interpretation is that the external bodily magnetic reconnection between flux ropes of the same chirality is another possible way for two filament bodies to coalesce.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science