Basic Properties and Models of Solar Prominences

  1. C. T. Russell,
  2. E. R. Priest and
  3. L. C. Lee
  1. T. G. Forbes

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM058p0295

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

How to Cite

Forbes, T. G. (1990) Basic Properties and Models of Solar Prominences, in Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes (eds C. T. Russell, E. R. Priest and L. C. Lee), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM058p0295

Author Information

  1. Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham 03824

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900261

Online ISBN: 9781118663868



  • Solar photosphere;
  • Magnetic flux;
  • Astrophysics


Prominences are relatively cool (104 K) and dense (1011 cm−3) plasma clouds which may persist for 100 days or more in the midst of the much hotter (106 K) and more tenuous (109 cm−3) corona. Many observations imply that the magnetic field in and around prominences is responsible both for isolating prominences from the corona and for supporting them against gravity. It is not at all obvious how the magnetic field can do both these tasks, but the limited theoretical models that are available suggest that a magnetic-flux rope is involved. Here we argue using a new analytical model that the flux rope could also play a key role in the eruption of a prominence by supplying the magnetic energy necessary to drive the prominence outwards.