Small-scale structuring of Ellerman bombs at the solar limb

C. J. Nelson*, E. M. Scullion, J. G. Doyle, N. Freij, R. Erdélyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Ellerman bombs (EBs) have been widely studied in recent years due to their dynamic, explosive nature and apparent links to the underlying photospheric magnetic field implying that they may be formed by magnetic reconnection in the photosphere. Despite a plethora of researches discussing the morphologies of EBs, there has been a limited investigation of how these events appear at the limb, specifically, whether they manifest as vertical extensions away from the disk. In this article, we make use of high-resolution, high-cadence observations of an Active Region at the solar limb, collected by the CRisp Imaging SpectroPolarimeter (CRISP) instrument, to identify EBs and infer their physical properties. The upper atmosphere is also probed using the Solar Dynamic Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA).We analyze 22 EB events evident within these data, finding that 20 appear to follow a parabolic path away from the solar surface at an average speed of 9 kms-1, extending away from their source by 580 km, before retreating back at a similar speed. These results show strong evidence of vertical motions associated with EBs, possibly explaining the dynamical "flaring" (changing in area and intensity) observed in on-disk events. Two in-depth case studies are also presented that highlight the unique dynamical nature of EBs within the lower solar atmosphere. The viewing angle of these observations allows for a direct linkage between these EBs and other small-scale events in the Há line wings, including a potential flux emergence scenario. The findings presented here suggest that EBs could have a wider-reaching influence on the solar atmosphere than previously thought, as we reveal a direct linkage between EBs and an emerging small-scale loop, and other near-by small-scale explosive events. However, as previous research found, these extensions do not appear to impact upon the Hα line core, and are not observed by the SDO/AIA EUV filters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date15 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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