LASCO Data Dazzle Chapman Conference



Research on coronal mass ejections (CMEs)—giant bubbles of magnetized gas blown into the heliosphere by the Sun (Figure 1)—has entered a time of dramatic growth. The large angle spectrometric coronagraph (LASCO) on the recently launched Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft has revealed unexpected aspects of the beautiful and puzzling CME phenomenon (see Figure 1), which was recently shown to be a key element for space weather. Studies of LASCO and other SOHO data combined with Yohkoh Soft X Ray Telescope observations are certain to provide new insight on how CMEs are initiated at the Sun. Concurrently, analyses of in situ plasma and field data from the Wind and Ulysses spacecraft are elucidating the structure of CMEs in the interplanetary (IP) medium.