Helmet Streamers with Triple Structures: Simulations of resistive dynamics

T Wiegelmann, K Schindler, Thomas Neukirch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent observations of the solar corona with the LASCO coronagraph on board of the SOHO spacecraft have revealed the occurrence of triple helmet streamers even during solar minimum, which occasionally go unstable and give rise to large coronal mass ejections. There are also indications that the slow solar wind is either a combination of a quasi-stationary flow and a highly fluctuating component or may even be caused completely by many small eruptions or instabilities. As a first step we recently presented an analytical method to calculate simple two-dimensional stationary models of triple helmet streamer configurations. In the present contribution we use the equations of time-dependent resistive magnetohydrodynamics to investigate the stability and the dynamical behaviour of these configurations. We particularly focus on the possible differences between the dynamics of single isolated streamers and triple streamers and on the way in which magnetic reconnection initiates both small scale and large scale dynamical behaviour of the streamers. Our results indicate that small eruptions at the helmet streamer cusp may incessantly accelerate small amounts of plasma without significant changes of the equilibrium configuration and might thus contribute to the non-stationary slow solar wind. On larger time and length scales, large coronal eruptions can occur as a consequence of large scale magnetic reconnection events inside the streamer configuration. Our results also show that triple streamers are usually more stable than a single streamer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)p.391-407 (2000).
Number of pages17
JournalSolar Physics
Volume191
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000

Keywords

  • CONDUCTIVE MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC FLOWS
  • HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEETS
  • SLOW SOLAR-WIND
  • CORONAL STREAMERS
  • MAGNETIC RECONNECTION
  • STATIONARY STATES
  • MASS EJECTIONS
  • EVOLUTION
  • MODEL
  • ACCELERATION

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