Coronal heating by reconnection

C. E. Parnell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outermost atmosphere of the Sun, called the corona, is some 200 times hotter than the surface of the Sun. The main source of energy for heating the corona is believed to be the magnetic field which dominates the corona. Magnetic reconnection is probably the most important mechanism for releasing magnetic energy and may, therefore, be important for coronal heating or micro-flaring. The best observational examples of reconnection in the corona are thought to be X-ray bright points, which are small-scale brightenings seen randomly throughout the whole corona. Theoretical models can not only explain the key observations relating to bright points, but they can also explain the complex three-dimensional structures often seen in bright points. In these models magnetic neutral points play a significant role as the centres for reconnection both in two and three dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1860
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


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