A critical examination of the fundamental assumptions of solar flare and coronal mass ejection models

D.S. Spicer, R. Bingham, R. Harrison

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The fundamental assumptions of conventional solar flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) theory are re-examined. In particular, the common theoretical assumption that magnetic energy that drives flares and CMEs can be stored in situ in the corona with sufficient energy density is found wanting. In addition, the observational constraint that flares and CMEs produce non-thermal electrons with fluxes of order 10(34)-10(36) electrons s(-1), with energies of order 10-20 keV, must also be explained. This constraint when imposed on the "standard model" for flares and CMEs is found to miss the mark by many orders of magnitude. We suggest, in conclusion, there are really only two possible ways to explain the requirements of observations and theory: flares and CMEs are caused by mass-loaded prominences or driven directly by emerging magnetized flux.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2013


  • acceleration of particles
  • coronal mass ejections
  • sun flares
  • gamma rays
  • particle-acceleration
  • energy release
  • fields
  • magnetosphere
  • dissipation
  • ionosphere
  • emission
  • bursts

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