Are CME-Related Dimmings Always a Simple Signature of Interplanetary Magnetic Cloud Footpoints?

Abstract

Coronal dimmings are often present on both sides of erupting magnetic configurations. It has been suggested that dimmings mark the location of the footpoints of ejected flux ropes and, thus, their magnetic flux can be used as a proxy for the flux involved in the ejection. If so, this quantity can be compared to the flux in the associated interplanetary magnetic cloud to find clues about the origin of the ejected flux rope. In the context of this physical interpretation, we analyze the event, flare, and coronal mass ejection (CME) that occurred in active region 10486 on 28 October 2003. The CME on this day is associated with large-scale dimmings, located on either side of the main flaring region. We combine SOHO/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope data and Michelson Doppler Imager magnetic maps to identify and measure the flux in the dimming regions. We model the associated cloud and compute its magnetic flux using in situ observations from the Magnetometer Instrument and the Solar Wind Electron Proton Alpha Monitor aboard the Advance Composition Explorer. We find that the magnetic fluxes of the dimmings and magnetic cloud are incompatible, in contrast to what has been found in previous studies. We conclude that, in certain cases, especially in large-scale events and eruptions that occur in regions that are not isolated from other flux concentrations, the interpretation of dimmings requires a deeper analysis of the global magnetic configuration, since at least a fraction of the dimmed regions is formed by reconnection between the erupting field and the surrounding magnetic structures.

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Mandrini, C.H., Nakwacki, M.S., Attrill, G. et al. Are CME-Related Dimmings Always a Simple Signature of Interplanetary Magnetic Cloud Footpoints?. Sol Phys 244, 25–43 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-007-9020-8

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Keywords

  • Coronal mass ejections: low coronal signatures
  • Coronal mass ejections: interplanetary
  • Magnetic field: photosphere
  • Magnetic field: interplanetary