Binary reconnection and the heating of the solar corona

Eric Ronald Priest, DW Longcope, VS Titov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relative motions of myriads of magnetic fragments in the solar surface are likely to drive magnetic reconnection and therefore heating among the magnetic field lines that spread from these fragments into the solar corona. We suggest that the fundamental mechanism is one of "binary reconnection'' due to the motion of a given magnetic source relative to its nearest neighbor. The heating is due to several effects: (1) the three-dimensional reconnection of field lines that start out joining the two sources and end up joining the largest source to other more distant sources ( or vice versa), so that the field line footpoints are exchanged; ( 2) the viscous or resistive damping of the waves that are emitted by the sources as their relative orientation rotates; and ( 3) the relaxation of the nonlinear force-free fields that join the two sources and that are built up by the relative motion of the sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-677
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume598
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2003

Keywords

  • MHD
  • plasmas
  • stars : coronae
  • Sun : corona
  • Sun : magnetic fields
  • CURRENT-SHEET FORMATION
  • MAGNETIC-FIELDS
  • NULL POINTS
  • FLUX SOURCES
  • MODEL
  • TOPOLOGY
  • CANCELLATION
  • ELEMENTS
  • COMPLEX
  • REGIONS

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