Magnetic field evolution during prominence eruptions and two-ribbon flares

E. R. Priest*, T. G. Forbes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simple models for the MHD eruption of a solar prominence are presented, in which the prominence is treated as a twisted magnetic flux tube that is being repelled from the solar surface by magnetic pressure forces. The effects of different physical assumptions to deal with this magneto-hydrodynamically complex phenomenon are evaluated, such as holding constant the prominence current, radius, flux or twist or modelling the prominence as a current sheet. Including a background magnetic field allows the prominence to be in equilibrium initially with an Inverse Polarity and then to erupt due to magnetic non-equilibrium when the background magnetic field is too small or the prominence twist is too great. The electric field at the neutral point below the prominence rapidly increases to a maximum value and then declines. Including the effect of gravity also allows an equilibrium with Normal Polarity to exist. Finally, an ideal MHD solution is found which incorporates self-consistently a current sheet below the prominence and which implies that a prominence will still erupt and form a current sheet even if no reconnection occurs. When reconnection is allowed it is, therefore, driven by the eruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-350
Number of pages32
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1990


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic field evolution during prominence eruptions and two-ribbon flares'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this