Our understanding of the relationship between coronal transient events and flare activity is severely restricted by a complex web of preconception, mythology and misinterpretation. In principle, for some time we have had access to the observations needed to develop a good knowledge of coronal activity at the time of flaring. However, this has required the combination of rather incompatible data-sets - a stumbling block for many. In this paper, we attempt to clear some of the dead-wood and simply ask the question: what happens in the low corona at about the time of a coronal mass ejection? There is no attempt to provide a thorough review of the literature; we simply re-examine several large data-sets and draw conclusions. We supplement this analysis with comments on related phenomena which have been the target of some controversy, e.g long duration X-ray events, flare precursors and X-ray arches, in an effort to gain a better perspective. © 1991.
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