Coronal magnetic field evolution under reconnective relaxation

G. E. Vekstein*, E. R. Priest, R. Wolfson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nonlinear evolution of a partially open coronal magnetic configuration is considered, assuming that corona responds to photospheric footpoint motions by small-scale reconnection events that produce a relaxed lower-energy state while conserving the global magnetic helicity of the system. The results of numerical calculations for such a relaxed equilibrium show an essential role of the amount of helicity injected to the closed-field region. If photospheric perturbations are incoherent (small-scale shearing with inefficient helicity injection), the relaxed state becomes close to an initial potential field. In this case reconnective relaxation does not result in a substantial global evolution, just providing heating of the corona (Vekstein et al, 1993). On the contrary, sufficient injection of the magnetic helicity can lead to a considerable restructuring of the coronal magnetic configuration, with possible change of its topology (formation of magnetic islands), and even catastrophic loss of equilibrium (Wolfson et al, 1994)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994


  • Corona
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Sun


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