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The animation above shows a C2 flare that occured on November 10th, 2012 from Active Region 11680. Click the animation for a longer movie, which shows some additional activity from the previous day. This region exhibited the "S" shape that characterizes what are known as "sigmoids". Sigmoids are of particular interest to solar scientists because they are often associated with large flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Models suggest that sigmoids form from two opposing J-shaped bundles of magnetic field lines. These pull together to form the "S" shape, ultimately triggering flares and CMEs through magnetic reconnection between the joining field systems.
Keywords: Sigmoid, Flare, CME