Elongation of flare ribbons

Jiong Qiu, Dana W. Longcope, Paul A. Cassak, Eric R. Priest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We present an analysis of the apparent elongation motion of flare ribbons along the polarity inversion line (PIL), as well as the shear of flare loops in several two-ribbon flares. Flare ribbons and loops spread along the PIL at a speed ranging from a few to a hundred km s-1. The shear measured from conjugate footpoints is consistent with the measurement from flare loops, and both show the decrease of shear toward a potential field as a flare evolves and ribbons and loops spread along the PIL. Flares exhibiting fast bidirectional elongation appear to have a strong shear, which may indicate a large magnetic guide field relative to the reconnection field in the coronal current sheet. We discuss how the analysis of ribbon motion could help infer properties in the corona where reconnection takes place.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages17
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: flare
  • Sun: magnetic field


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