Acceleration of Coronal Mass Ejection Plasma in the Low Corona as Measured by the Citizen CATE Experiment
The citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment was a new type of citizen science experiment designed to capture a time sequence of white-light coronal observations during totality from 17:16 to 18:48 UT on 2017 August 21. Using identical instruments the CATE group imaged the inner corona from 1 to 2.1 RSun with 1.″43 pixels at a cadence of 2.1 s. A slow coronal mass ejection (CME) started on the SW limb of the Sun before the total eclipse began. An analysis of CATE data from 17:22 to 17:39 UT maps the spatial distribution of coronal flow velocities from about 1.2 to 2.1 RSun, and shows the CME material accelerates from about 0 to 200 km s-1 across this part of the corona. This CME is observed by LASCO C2 at 3.1-13 RSun with a constant speed of 254 km s-1. The CATE and LASCO observations are not fit by either constant acceleration nor spatially uniform velocity change, and so the CME acceleration mechanism must produce variable acceleration in this region of the corona.