Observations of reconnection flows in a flare on the solar disk

Wang, J., Simoes, P.J.A. , Jeffrey, N.L.S. , Fletcher, L. , Wright, P.J. and Hannah, I.G. (2017) Observations of reconnection flows in a flare on the solar disk. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 847(1), L1. (doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa8904)

Wang, J., Simoes, P.J.A. , Jeffrey, N.L.S. , Fletcher, L. , Wright, P.J. and Hannah, I.G. (2017) Observations of reconnection flows in a flare on the solar disk. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 847(1), L1. (doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa8904)

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Abstract

Magnetic reconnection is a well-accepted part of the theory of solar eruptive events, though the evidence is still circumstantial. Intrinsic to the reconnection picture of a solar eruptive event, particularly in the standard model for two-ribbon flares (“CSHKP” model), are an advective flow of magnetized plasma into the reconnection region, expansion of field above the reconnection region as a flux rope erupts, retraction of heated post-reconnection loops, and downflows of cooling plasma along those loops. We report on a unique set of SDO/AIA imaging and Hinode/EIS spectroscopic observations of the disk flare SOL2016-03-23T03:54 in which all four flows are present simultaneously. This includes spectroscopic evidence for a plasma upflow in association with large-scale expanding closed inflow field. The reconnection inflows are symmetric, and consistent with fast reconnection, and the post-reconnection loops show a clear cooling and deceleration as they retract. Observations of coronal reconnection flows are still rare, and most events are observed at the solar limb, obscured by complex foregrounds, making their relationship to the flare ribbons, cusp field and arcades formed in the lower atmosphere difficult to interpret. The disk location and favorable perspective of this event have removed these ambiguities giving a clear picture of the reconnection dynamics.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fletcher, Professor Lyndsay and Jeffrey, Dr Natasha and Wright, Mr Paul and Hannah, Dr Iain and Simoes, Dr Paulo and Wang, Mr Juntao
Authors: Wang, J., Simoes, P.J.A., Jeffrey, N.L.S., Fletcher, L., Wright, P.J., and Hannah, I.G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:2041-8205
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Published Online:13 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The American Astronomical Society
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal Letters 847(1): L1
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
631581Consolidated grant in solar and astrophysical plasmasLyndsay FletcherScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000741/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
595181Chromospheric Flares: Observations, Models and Archives (CHROMA)Lyndsay FletcherEuropean Commission (EC)606862P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
646461EPSRC-Royal Society fellowship engagement (2013): Heating of the solar atmosphere by small flaresIain HannahEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M00371X/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY