Helicity as a Component of Filament Formation

Duncan Hendry Mackay, V Gaizauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we seek the origin of the axial component of the magnetic field in filaments by adapting theory to observations. A previous paper (Mackay, Gaizauskas, and van Ballegooijen, 2000) showed that surface flows acting on potential magnetic fields for 27 days - the maximum time between the emergence of magnetic flux and the formation of large filaments between the resulting activity complexes - cannot explain the chirality or inverse polarity nature of the observed filaments. We show that the inclusion of initial helicity, for which there is observational evidence, in the flux transport model results in sufficiently strong dextral fields of inverse polarity to account for the existence and length of an observed filament within the allotted time. The simulations even produce a large length of dextral chirality when just small amounts of helicity are included in the initial configuration. The modeling suggests that the axial field component in filaments can result from a combination of surface (flux transport) and sub-surface (helicity) effects acting together. Here surface effects convert the large-scale helicity emerging in active regions into a smaller-scale magnetic-field component parallel to the polarity inversion line so as to form a magnetic configuration suitable for a filament.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-142
Number of pages22
JournalSolar Physics
Volume216
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003

Keywords

  • CONFIGURATIONS SUPPORTING PROMINENCES
  • MAGNETIC-FIELDS
  • ACTIVE REGIONS
  • QUIESCENT PROMINENCES
  • SOLAR PROMINENCES
  • FLUX TRANSPORT
  • FORCE-FREE
  • MODEL
  • CHANNELS
  • SUN

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