Clusters of small eruptive flares produced by magnetic reconnection in the Sun

V. Archontis, V. Hansteen

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We report on the formation of small solar flares produced by patchy magnetic reconnection between interacting magnetic loops. A three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical experiment was performed, where a uniform magnetic flux sheet was injected into a fully developed convective layer. The gradual emergence of the field into the solar atmosphere results in a network of magnetic loops, which interact dynamically forming current layers at their interfaces. The formation and ejection of plasmoids out of the current layers leads to patchy reconnection and the spontaneous formation of several small (size ≈1-2 Mm) flares. We find that these flares are short-lived (30 s-3 minutes) bursts of energy in the range O(1025-1027) erg, which is basically the nanoflare-microflare range. Their persistent formation and co-operative action and evolution leads to recurrent emission of fast EUV/X-ray jets and considerable plasma heating in the active corona.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL2
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Early online date20 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2014


  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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