Reconnection on open field lines ahead of coronal mass ejections

D. J. McComas, J. T. Gosling, C. M. Hammond, M. B. Moldwin, J. L. Phillips, R. J. Forsyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Plasma and magnetic field signatures from 29 November 1990 indicate that the Ulysses spacecraft passed through a series of interplanetary structures that were most likely formed by magnetic reconnection on open field lines ahead of a coronal mass ejection (CME). This reconnection changed the magnetic topology of the upstream region by converting normal open interplanetary magnetic field into a pair of regions: one magnetically disconnected from the Sun and the other, a tongue, connected back to the Sun at both ends. This process provides a new method for producing both heat flux dropouts and counterstreaming suprathermal electron signatures in interplanetary space. In this paper we expand upon the 29 November case study and argue that reconnection ahead of CMEs should be less common at high heliolatitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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