Observational evidence of a magnetic flux rope eruption associated with the X3 flare on 2002 July 15

Yu Liu, Yunchun Jiang, Haishen Ji, Hongqi Zhang, Haimin Wang

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We present the study of an eruption from the low solar atmosphere (photosphere/chromosphere) as seen in Transition Region and Coronal Explorer 1600 Å images and with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Michelson Doppler Imager. The eruption reached its maximum at 20:08 UT on 2002 July 15 in the NOAA Active Region 10030 (N19°, W01°), accompanied by an X3 flare and followed by a fast-halo coronal mass ejection. The main observational results from the data are as follows: (1) the erupting plasma was in a rapidly rising, twisted ropelike structure; (2) the eruption occurred just preceding the onset of its driven flare; and (3) the morphology and magnetic flux of one slender footpoint (∼9000 km in length) of the rope developed rapidly on the photosphere. This structure disappeared in white light and in the magnetograms within 60 minutes. This evidence supports the erupting flux rope model. Our data favor the idea that a catastrophic loss of MHD equilibrium can be the primary driving mechanism for the rapid ejection of a flux rope. This conclusion is based on the judgment that the ambient fields of the flux rope were partly opened as a result of the magnetic reconnection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L137-L140
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Aug 20 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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


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