Effects of Partial Ionization on Magnetic Flux Emergence in the Sun

George Chouliaras*, Petros Syntelis, Vasileios Archontis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have performed 3D numerical simulations to investigate the effect of partial ionization on the process of magnetic flux emergence. In our study, we have modified the single-fluid MHD equations to include the presence of neutrals and have performed two basic experiments: one that assumes a fully ionized plasma (FI case) and one that assumes a partially ionized plasma (PI case). We find that the PI case brings less dense plasma to and above the solar surface. Furthermore, we find that partial ionization alters the emerging magnetic field structure, leading to a different shape of the polarities in the emerged bipolar regions compared to the FI case. The amount of emerging flux into the solar atmosphere is larger in the PI case, which has the same initial plasma beta as the FI case, but a larger initial magnetic field strength. The expansion of the field above the photosphere occurs relatively earlier in the PI case, and we confirm that the inclusion of partial ionization reduces cooling due to adiabatic expansion. However, it does not appear to work as a heating mechanism for the atmospheric plasma. The performance of these experiments in three dimensions shows that PI does not prevent the formation of unstable magnetic structures, which erupt into the outer solar atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023


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