The detection of numerous magnetic separators in a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model of solar emerging flux

Clare Elizabeth Parnell, Rhona Claire Maclean, Andrew Lewis Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Magnetic separators in three-dimensional (3D) magnetic fields are believed to be often associated with locations of magnetic reconnection. In this preliminary study, we investigate this relationship using data from a numerical resistive 3D MHD experiment of a solar flux emergence event. For the first time separators are detected in complex magnetic fields resulting from a 3D resistive MHD model of flux emergence. Two snapshots of the model, taken from different stages of its evolution, are analyzed. Numerous separators are found in both snapshots, and their properties, including their geometry, length, relationship to the magnetic null points, and integrated parallel electric field are studied. The separators reside at the junctions between the emerging flux, the overlying field, and two other flux domains that are newly formed by reconnection. The long separators, which connect clusters of nulls that lie either side of the emerging flux, pass through spatially localized regions of high parallel electric field and correspond to local maxima in integrated parallel electric field. These factors indicate that strong magnetic reconnection takes place along many of the separators, and that separators play a key role during the interaction of emerging and overlying flux.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-218
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume725
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Magnetic fields
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Methods: numerical
  • Plasmas
  • Sun: atmosphere
  • Sun: corona

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