Space Science Reviews

, Volume 95, Issue 1–2, pp 135–146 | Cite as

Varieties of Coronal Mass Ejections and Their Relation to Flares

  • Zdeněk Švestka


Most coronal mass ejections (CMEs) start as coronal storms which are caused by an opening of channels of closed field lines along the zero line of the longitudinal magnetic field. This can happen along any zero line on the Sun where the configuration is destabilized. If the opening includes a zero line inside an active region, one observes a chromospheric flare. If this does not happen, no flare is associated with the CME in the chromosphere, but the process, as well as the response in the corona (a Long Decay Event in X-rays) remains the same. The only difference between flare-associated and non-flare-associated CMEs is the strength of the magnetic field in the region of the field line opening. This can explain essentially all differences which have been observed between these two kinds of CMEs. However, there are obviously also other sources of CMEs, different from coronal storms: sprays (giving rise to narrow, pointed ejections), erupting interconnecting loops (often destabilized by flares), and growing coronal holes. This paper tries to summarize and interpret observations which support this general picture, and demonstrates that both CMEs and flares must be properly discussed in any study of solar-terrestrial relations.


Magnetic Field Flare Active Region Field Line Coronal Mass Ejection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdeněk Švestka
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CASS UCSDLa JollaU.S.A.
  2. 2.SRONUtrechtThe Netherlands

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