XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

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2014 March 11

Click for longer movie with higher resolution. Also available on YouTube.

Filament Eruption with Unusual Twisting Motions

This observation is a throwback to 2010 that I found while perusing the XRT Flare Catalog. The flare registered as A7 on the GOES scale, which is low enough that a flare ten times more powerful wouldn't even make it over today's baseline X-ray level. But the puny flare class belies its interesting nature. It came from quite an unusual looking area, with a diffuse surface magnetic field characteristic of a decayed active region. A long channel of cool plasma, called a filament, snakes through the center of the field, invisible to XRT because it's too cold to emit X-rays. Hinode pointed here hoping that the filament would erupt, and that's just what happened. Faint overaching loops can be seen opening up in the GIF animation above as the unseen filament breaks free. Fascinating twisting motions at the center of the frame are what make this event so interesting to me. They may stem from the unraveling of the twisted filament as it erupts, but it's difficult to really understand such movement from these images alone. The flare that landed this event in our catalog doesn't actually peak until after the clip above, when post-eruption loops form where the filament had been. Click the GIF for a longer movie that shows the region before and after the eruption.

Keywords: CME, Filament
Filters: Ti_poly

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

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