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Journal Article

The High Helium Abundance and Charge States of the Interplanetary CME and Its Material Source on the Sun


Zhu,  XiaoShuai
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Fu, H., Harrison, R. A., Davies, J. A., Xia, L., Zhu, X., Li, B., et al. (2020). The High Helium Abundance and Charge States of the Interplanetary CME and Its Material Source on the Sun. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 900: L18. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/abb083.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4D55-4
Identifying the source of the material within coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and understanding CME onset mechanisms are fundamental issues in solar and space physics. Parameters relating to plasma composition, such as charge states and He abundance (A He), may be different for plasmas originating from differing processes or regions on the Sun. Thus, it is crucial to examine the relationship between in situ measurements of CME composition and activity on the Sun. We study the CME that erupted on 2014 September 10, in association with an X1.6 flare, by analyzing Atmospheric Imaging Assembly imaging and Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spectroscopic observations and its in situ signatures detected by Wind and Advanced Composition Explorer. We find that during the slow expansion and intensity increase of the sigmoid, plasma temperatures of 9 MK, and higher, first appear at the footpoints of the sigmoid, associated with chromospheric brightening. Then the high-temperature region extends along the sigmoid. IRIS observations confirm that this extension is caused by transportation of hot plasma upflow. Our results show that chromospheric material can be heated to 9 MK, and above, by chromospheric evaporation at the sigmoid footpoints before flare onset. The heated chromospheric material can transport into the sigmoidal structure and supply mass to the CME. The aforementioned CME mass supply scenario provides a reasonable explanation for the detection of high charge states and elevated A He in the associated interplanetary CME. The observations also demonstrate that the quasi-steady evolution in the precursor phase is dominated by magnetic reconnection between the rising flux rope and the overlying magnetic field structure.