The plasmoid instability in a confined solar flare

MacTaggart, D. and Fletcher, L. (2019) The plasmoid instability in a confined solar flare. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 486(1), L96-L100. (doi: 10.1093/mnrasl/slz068)

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Eruptive flares (EFs) are associated with erupting filaments and, in some models, filament eruption drives flare reconnection. Recently, however, observations of a confined flare (CF) have revealed all the hallmarks of an EF (impulsive phase, flare ribbons, etc.) without the filament eruption itself. Therefore, if the filament is not primarily responsible for impulsive flare reconnection, what is? In this Letter, we argue, based on mimimal requirements, that the plasmoid instability is a strong candidate for explaining the impulsive phase in the observed CF. We present magnetohydrodynamic simulation results of the non-linear development of the plasmoid instability, in a model active region magnetic field geometry, to strengthen our claim. We also discuss how the ideas described in this Letter can be generalized to other situations, including EFs.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mactaggart, Dr David and Fletcher, Professor Lyndsay
Authors: MacTaggart, D., and Fletcher, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1365-2966
Published Online:04 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 486(1): L96-L100
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
728901Consolidated Grant in Solar PhysicsLyndsay FletcherScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000533/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY