Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 November 2006
The structure and evolution of the sources of solar activity directly affects the nature of space weather disturbances that reach the Earth. We have previously demonstrated that the loss of equilibrium and partial ejection of a coronal magnetic flux rope matches observations of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their precursors.In this paper we discuss the significance of such a partially-ejected rope for space weather. We will consider how the evolution and bifurcation of the rope modifies it from its initial, source configuration. In particular, we will consider how reconnections and writhing motions lead to an escaping rope which has an axis rotated counterclockwise from the original rope axis orientation, and which is rooted in transient coronal holes external to the original source region.