Space Science Reviews

, Volume 123, Issue 1–3, pp 127–176 | Cite as

Coronal Observations of CMEs

Report of Working Group A
  • R. SchwennEmail author
  • J. C. Raymond
  • D. Alexander
  • A. Ciaravella
  • N. Gopalswamy
  • R. Howard
  • H. Hudson
  • P. Kaufmann
  • A. Klassen
  • D. Maia
  • G. Munoz-Martinez
  • M. Pick
  • M. Reiner
  • N. Srivastava
  • D. Tripathi
  • A. Vourlidas
  • Y.-M. Wang
  • J. Zhang


CMEs have been observed for over 30 years with a wide variety of instruments. It is now possible to derive detailed and quantitative information on CME morphology, velocity, acceleration and mass. Flares associated with CMEs are observed in X-rays, and several different radio signatures are also seen. Optical and UV spectra of CMEs both on the disk and at the limb provide velocities along the line of sight and diagnostics for temperature, density and composition. From the vast quantity of data we attempt to synthesize the current state of knowledge of the properties of CMEs, along with some specific observed characteristics that illuminate the physical processes occurring during CME eruption. These include the common three-part structures of CMEs, which is generally attributed to compressed material at the leading edge, a low-density magnetic bubble and dense prominence gas. Signatures of shock waves are seen, but the location of these shocks relative to the other structures and the occurrence rate at the heights where Solar Energetic Particles are produced remains controversial. The relationships among CMEs, Moreton waves, EIT waves, and EUV dimming are also cloudy. The close connection between CMEs and flares suggests that magnetic reconnection plays an important role in CME eruption and evolution. We discuss the evidence for reconnection in current sheets from white-light, X-ray, radio and UV observations. Finally, we summarize the requirements for future instrumentation that might answer the outstanding questions and the opportunities that new space-based and ground-based observatories will provide in the future.


solar corona eruptive prominences coronal mass ejections (CMEs) flares solar wind solar magnetic field magnetic reconnection interplanetary shock waves ICMEs space weather solar energetic particles (SEPs) radio bursts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Schwenn
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. C. Raymond
    • 2
  • D. Alexander
    • 3
  • A. Ciaravella
    • 1
    • 4
  • N. Gopalswamy
    • 5
    • 6
  • R. Howard
    • 7
  • H. Hudson
    • 8
  • P. Kaufmann
    • 9
    • 10
  • A. Klassen
    • 11
  • D. Maia
    • 12
  • G. Munoz-Martinez
    • 13
  • M. Pick
    • 14
  • M. Reiner
    • 5
    • 6
  • N. Srivastava
    • 15
  • D. Tripathi
    • 1
  • A. Vourlidas
    • 7
  • Y.-M. Wang
    • 7
  • J. Zhang
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung Katlenburg-LindauKatlenburg-LindauGermany
  2. 2.Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Dept. of Physics and AstronomyRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  4. 4.INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di PalermoPalermoItaly
  5. 5.School of Computational SciencesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  6. 6.NASA GSFC, Lab. for Extraterrestrial PhysicsGreenbeltUSA
  7. 7.US Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA
  8. 8.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  9. 9.Universidade Presbiteriana MackenzieCRAAMSao PauloBrazil
  10. 10.Universidade Estadual de CampinasCCSCampinasBrazil
  11. 11.Astrophysikalisches Institut PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  12. 12.CICGE, Observatório Astronómico Professor Manuel de BarrosFaculdade de Ciências da Universidade do PortoVila nova de GaiaPortugal
  13. 13.Instituto de GeofísicaUNAMMexicoMexico
  14. 14.LESIAUMR 8109 CNRSObservatoire de ParisFrance
  15. 15.Udaipur Solar ObservatoryPhysical Research LaboratoryUdaipurIndia

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