Kinematics and helicity evolution of a loop-like eruptive prominence

K. Koleva, M.S. Madjarska, P. Duchlev, C. J. Schrijver, J.-C. Vial, E. Buchlin and M. Dechev


Fig. 2. He II 304 Å AIA images (in reversed colour table) showing the morphology and, in particular, the helicity evolution of the erupting prominence.

Aims We aim at investigating the morphology, kinematic and helicity evolution of a loop-like prominence during its eruption.

Methods. We use multi-instrument observations from AIA/SDO, EUVI/STEREO and LASCO/SoHO. The kinematic, morphological, geometrical, and helicity evolution of a loop-like eruptive prominence are studied in the context of the magnetic flux rope model of solar prominences.

Results. The prominence eruption evolved as a height expanding twisted loop with both legs anchored in the chromosphere of a plage area. The eruption process consists of a prominence activation, acceleration, and a phase of constant velocity. The prominence body was composed of left-hand (counter-clockwise) twisted threads around the main prominence axis. The twist during the eruption was estimated at 6π (3 turns). The prominence reached a maximum height of 526 Mm before contracting to its primary location and partially reformed in the same place two days after the eruption. This ejection, however, triggered a CME seen in LASCO C2. The prominence was located in the northern periphery of the CME magnetic field configuration and, therefore, the background magnetic field was asymmetric with respect to the filament position. The physical conditions of the falling plasma blobs were analysed with respect to the prominence kinematics.

Conclusions. The same sign of the prominence body twist and writhe, as well as the amount of twisting above the critical value of 2π after the activation phase indicate that possibly conditions for kink instability were present. No signature of magnetic reconnection was observed anywhere in the prominence body and its surroundings. The filament/prominence descent following the eruption and its partial reformation at the same place two days later suggest a confined type of eruption. The asymmetric background magnetic field possibly played an important role in the failed eruption.

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Last Revised: 2012 February 13th