Ultra-high-resolution observations of persistent null-point reconnection in the solar corona

X Cheng*, E R Priest, H T Li, J Chen, G Aulanier, L P Chitta, Y L Wang, H Peter, X S Zhu, C Xing, M D Ding, S K Solanki, D Berghmans, L Teriaca, R Aznar Cuadrado, A N Zhukov, Y Guo, D Long, L Harra, P J SmithL Rodriguez, C Verbeeck, K Barczynski, S Parenti

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Magnetic reconnection is a key mechanism involved in solar eruptions and is also a prime possibility to heat the low corona to millions of degrees. Here, we present ultra-high-resolution extreme ultraviolet observations of persistent null-point reconnection in the corona at a scale of about 390 km over one hour observations of the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imager on board Solar Orbiter spacecraft. The observations show formation of a null-point configuration above a minor positive polarity embedded within a region of dominant negative polarity near a sunspot. The gentle phase of the persistent null-point reconnection is evidenced by sustained point-like high-temperature plasma (about 10 MK) near the null-point and constant outflow blobs not only along the outer spine but also along the fan surface. The blobs appear at a higher frequency than previously observed with an average velocity of about 80 km s-1 and life-times of about 40 s. The null-point reconnection also occurs explosively but only for 4 minutes, its coupling with a mini-filament eruption generates a spiral jet. These results suggest that magnetic reconnection, at previously unresolved scales, proceeds continually in a gentle and/or explosive way to persistently transfer mass and energy to the overlying corona.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2107
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2023

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