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Herndon, VA, United States

Patsourakos S.,University of Ioannina | Vourlidas A.,U.S. Navy | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

The study of fast, eruptive events in the low solar corona is one of the science objectives of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) imagers on the recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which take full disk images in 10 wavelengths with arcsecond resolution and 12 s cadence. We study with AIA the formation of an impulsive coronal mass ejection (CME) which occurred on 2010 June 13 and was associated with an M1.0 class flare. Specifically, we analyze the formation of the CME EUV bubble and its initial dynamics and thermal evolution in the low corona using AIA images in three wavelengths (171 Å, 193 Å, and 211 Å). We derive the first ultra-high cadence measurements of the temporal evolution of the CME bubble aspect ratio (=bubble height/bubble radius). Our main result is that the CME formation undergoes three phases: it starts with a slow self-similar expansion followed by a fast but short-lived (∼70 s) period of strong lateral overexpansion which essentially creates the CME. Then the CME undergoes another phase of self-similar expansion until it exits the AIA field of view. During the studied interval, the CME height-time profile shows a strong, short-lived, acceleration followed by deceleration. The lateral overexpansion phase coincides with the deceleration phase. The impulsive flare heating and CME acceleration are closely coupled. However, the lateral overexpansion of the CME occurs during the declining phase and is therefore not linked to flare reconnection. In addition, the multi-thermal analysis of the bubble does not show significant evidence of temperature change. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Vourlidas A.,U.S. Navy | Colaninno R.,U.S. Navy | Nieves-Chinchilla T.,Catholic University of America | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2011

In this Letter, we present the first direct detection of a rotating coronal mass ejection (CME) in the middle corona (5-15 R ). The CME rotation rate is 60° day-1, which is the highest rate reported yet. The Earth-directed event was observed by the STEREO/SECCHI and SOHO/LASCO instruments. We are able to derive the three-dimensional morphology and orientation of the CME flux rope by applying a forward-fitting model to simultaneous observations from three vantage points (SECCHI-A, -B, LASCO). Surprisingly, we find that even such rapidly rotating CME does not result in significant projection effects (variable angular width) in any single coronagraph view. This finding may explain the prevalent view of constant angular width for CMEs above 5 R and the lack of detections of rotating CMEs in the past. Finally, the CME is a "stealth" CME with very weak low corona signatures as viewed from Earth. It originated from a quiet-Sun neutral line. We tentatively attribute the fast rotation to a possible disconnection of one of the CME footpoints early in the eruption. We discuss the implications of such rotations to space weather prediction. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Liu R.,Space Weather Research Laboratory | Lee J.,NJIT | Wang T.,Catholic University of America | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

Magnetic reconnection changes the magnetic field topology and powers explosive events in astrophysical, space, and laboratory plasmas. For flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the solar atmosphere, the standard model predicts the presence of a reconnecting current sheet, which has been the subject of considerable theoretical and numerical modeling over the last 50 years, yet direct, unambiguous observational verification has been absent. In this Letter, we show a bright sheet structure of global length (>0.25R ⊙) and macroscopic width ((5-10)×103 km) distinctly above the cusp-shaped flaring loop, imaged during the flare rising phase in EUV. The sheet formed due to the stretch of a transequatorial loop system and was accompanied by various reconnection signatures. This unique event provides a comprehensive view of the reconnection geometry and dynamics in the solar corona. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Warren H.P.,U.S. Navy | Warren H.P.,George Mason University | Ugarte-Urra I.,U.S. Navy | Ugarte-Urra I.,George Mason University | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Spectroscopic observations with the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) on Hinode have revealed large areas of high-speed outflows at the periphery of many solar active regions. These outflows are of interest because they may connect to the heliosphere and contribute to the solar wind. In this paper, we use slit rasters from EIS in combination with narrowband slot imaging to study the temperature dependence and morphology of an outflow region and show that it is more complicated than previously thought. Outflows are observed primarily in emission lines from Fe XI to Fe XV. Observations at lower temperatures (Si VII), in contrast, show bright fan-like structures that are dominated by inflows. These data also indicate that the morphology of the outflows and the fans is different, outflows are observed in regions where there is no emission in Si VII. This suggests that the fans, which are often associated with outflows in studies involving imaging data, are not directly related to the active region outflows. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society.

Crenshaw D.M.,Georgia State University | Schmitt H.R.,U.S. Navy | Schmitt H.R.,Interferometrics Inc. | Kraemer S.B.,Catholic University of America | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

We present a study of the radial velocity offsets between narrow emission lines and host galaxy lines (stellar absorption and H I 21 cm emission) in Seyfert galaxies with observed redshifts less than 0.043. We find that 35% of the Seyferts in the sample show [O III] emission lines with blueshifts with respect to their host galaxies exceeding 50 km s-1, whereas only 6% show redshifts this large, in qualitative agreement with most previous studies. We also find that a greater percentage of Seyfert 1 galaxies show blueshifts than Seyfert 2 galaxies. Using Hubble Spce Talescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spatially resolved spectra of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC1068 and the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC4151, we generate geometric models of their narrow-line regions (NLRs) and inner galactic disks, and show how these models can explain the blueshifted [O III] emission lines in collapsed STIS spectra of these two Seyferts. We conclude that the combination of mass outflow of ionized gas in the NLR and extinction by dust in the inner disk (primarily in the form of dust spirals) is primarily responsible for the velocity offsets in Seyfert galaxies. More exotic explanations are not needed. We discuss the implications of this result for the velocity offsets found in higher redshift active galactic nuclei. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society.

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