Hα and EUV observations of a partial CME

Damian J. Christian, David B. Jess, Patrick Antolin, Mihalis Mathioudakis

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We have obtained H$\alpha$ high spatial and time resolution observations of the upper solar chromosphere and supplemented these with multi-wavelength observations from the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) and the {\it Hinode} ExtremeUltraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS). The H$\alpha$ observations were conducted on 11 February 2012 with the Hydrogen-Alpha Rapid Dynamics Camera (HARDcam) instrument at the National Solar Observatory's Dunn Solar Telescope. Our H$\alpha$ observations found large downflows of chromospheric material returning from coronal heights following a failed prominence eruption. We have detected several large condensations ("blobs") returning to the solar surface at velocities of $\approx$200 km s$^{-1}$ in both H$\alpha$ and several SDO AIA band passes. The average derived size of these "blobs" in H$\alpha$ is 500 by 3000 km$^2$ in the directions perpendicular and parallel to the direction of travel, respectively. A comparison of our "blob" widths to those found from coronal rain, indicate there are additional smaller, unresolved "blobs" in agreement with previous studies and recent numerical simulations. Our observed velocities and decelerations of the "blobs" in both H$\alpha$ and SDO bands are less than those expected for gravitational free-fall and imply additional magnetic or gas pressure impeding the flow. We derived a kinetic energy $\approx$2 orders of magnitude lower for the main eruption than a typical CME, which may explain its partial nature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2015


  • astro-ph.SR

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