Comprehensive Analysis of Coronal Mass Ejection Mass and Energy Properties Over a Full Solar Cycle
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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The LASCO coronagraphs, in continuous operation since 1995, have observed the evolution of the solar corona and coronal mass ejections CMEs over a full solar cycle with high quality images and regular cadence. This is the first time that such a dataset becomes available and constitutes a unique resource for the study of CMEs. In this paper, we present a comprehensive investigation of the solar cycle dependence on the CME mass and energy over a full solar cycle 1996-2009 including the first in-depth discussion of the mass and energy analysis methods and their associated errors. Our analysis provides several results worthy of further studies. It demonstrates the possible- existence of two event classes normal CMEs reaching constant mass for 10 R and pseudo CMEs which disappear in the C3 FOV. It shows that the mass and energy properties of CME reach constant levels, and therefore should be measured, only above 10R . The mass density gR2 of CMEs varies relatively little order of magnitude suggesting that the majority of the mass originates from a small range in coronal heights. We find a sudden reduction in the CME mass in mid-2003 which may be related to a change in the electron content of the large scale corona and we uncover the presence of a six-month periodicity in the ejected mass from 2003 onwards.