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2010 August 1-2 sympathetic eruptions: I. Magnetic topology of the source-surface background field  

Viacheslav Titov   Submitted: 2012-09-26 18:26

A sequence of apparently coupled eruptions was observed on 2010 August 1-2 by SDO and STEREO. The eruptions were closely synchronized with one another, even though some of them occurred at widely separated locations. In an attempt to identify a plausible reason for such synchronization, we study the large-scale structure of the background magnetic configuration. The coronal field was computed from the photospheric magnetic field observed at the appropriate time period by using the potential field source-surface model. We investigate the resulting field structure by analyzing the so-called squashing factor calculated at the photospheric and source-surface boundaries, as well as at different coronal cross-sections. Using this information as a guide, we determine the underlying structural skeleton of the configuration, including separatrix and quasi-separatrix surfaces. Our analysis reveals, in particular, several pseudo-streamers in the regions where the eruptions occurred. Of special interest to us are the magnetic null points and separators associated with the pseudo-streamers. We propose that magnetic reconnection triggered along these separators by the first eruption likely played a key role in establishing the assumed link between the sequential eruptions. The present work substantiates our recent simplified magnetohydrodynamic model of sympathetic eruptions and provides a guide for further deeper study of these phenomena. Several important implications of our results for the S-web model of the slow solar wind are also addressed.

Authors: V. S. Titov, Z. Mikic, T. Torok, J. A. Linker and O. Panasenco
Projects: None

Publication Status: To appear in ApJ in November 2012
Last Modified: 2012-09-27 08:06
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Magnetic Topology of Coronal Hole Linkages  

Viacheslav Titov   Submitted: 2010-11-01 18:24

In recent work, Antiochos and coworkers argued that the boundary between the open and closed field regions on the Sun can be extremely complex with narrow corridors of open flux connecting seemingly disconnected coronal holes from the main polar holes, and that these corridors may be the sources of the slow solar wind. We examine, in detail, the topology of such magnetic configurations using an analytical source surface model that allows for analysis of the field with arbitrary resolution. Our analysis reveals three important new results: First, a coronal hole boundary can join stably to the separatrix boundary of a parasitic polarity region. Second, a single parasitic polarity region can produce multiple null points in the corona and, more important, separator lines connecting these points. It is known that such topologies are extremely favorable for magnetic reconnection, because they allow this process to occur over the entire length of the separators rather than being confined to a small region around the nulls. Finally, the coronal holes are not connected by an open-field corridor of finite width, but instead are linked by a singular line that coincides with the separatrix footprint of the parasitic polarity. We investigate how the topological features described above evolve in response to the motion of the parasitic polarity region. The implications of our results for the sources of the slow solar wind and for coronal and heliospheric observations are discussed.

Authors: V. S. Titov, Z. Mikic, J. A. Linker, R. Lionello, S. K. Antiochos
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ 2010, in press
Last Modified: 2010-11-01 18:39
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Slip-Squashing Factors as a Measure of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection  

Viacheslav Titov   Submitted: 2008-07-17 22:14

A general method for describing magnetic reconnection in arbitrary three-dimensional magnetic configurations is proposed. The method is based on the field-line mapping technique previously used only for the analysis of magnetic structure at a given time. This technique is extended here so as to analyze the evolution of magnetic structure. Such a generalization is made with the help of new dimensionless quantities called ''slip-squashing factors''. Their large values define the surfaces that border the reconnected or to-be-reconnected magnetic flux tubes for a given period of time during the magnetic evolution. The proposed method is universal, since it assumes only that the time sequence of evolving magnetic field and the tangential boundary flows are known. The application of the method is illustrated for a simple example considered previously by Hesse and coworkers in the framework of the general magnetic reconnection theory. The example helps to compare these two approaches; it reveals also that, just as for magnetic null points, hyperbolic and cusp minimum points of a magnetic field serve as favorable sites for magnetic reconnection. The new method admits a straightforward numerical implementation and provides a powerful tool for the diagnostics of magnetic reconnection in numerical models of solar-flare-like phenomena in space and laboratory plasmas.

Authors: V. S. Titov, T. G. Forbes, E. R. Priest, Z. Mikic, J. A. Linker
Projects: None

Publication Status: submitted to ApJ
Last Modified: 2008-09-23 20:56
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Subject will be restored when possible  

Viacheslav Titov   Submitted: 2007-11-26 10:41

A simple model of the coronal magnetic field prior to the CME eruption on May 12 1997 is developed. First, the magnetic field is constructed by superimposing a large-scale background field and a localized bipolar field to model the active region (AR) in the current-free approximation. Second, this potential configuration is quasi-statically sheared by photospheric vortex motions applied to two flux concentrations of the AR. Third, the resulting force-free field is then evolved by canceling the photospheric magnetic flux with the help of an appropriate tangential electric field applied to the central part of the AR. To understand the structure of the modeled configuration, we use the field line mapping technique by generalizing it to spherical geometry. It is demonstrated that the initial potential configuration contains a hyperbolic flux tube (HFT) which is a union of two intersecting quasi-separatrix layers. This HFT provides a partition of the closed magnetic flux between the AR and the global solar magnetic field. The vortex motions applied to the AR interlock the field lines in the coronal volume to form additionally two new HFTs pinched into thin current layers. Reconnection in these current layers helps to redistribute the magnetic flux and current within the AR in the flux-cancellation phase. In this phase, a magnetic flux rope is formed together with a bald patch separatrix surface wrapping around the rope. Other important implications of the identified structural features of the modeled configuration are also discussed.

Authors: V. S. Titov, Z. Mikic, J. A. Linker, R. Lionello
Projects: None

Publication Status: to appear in ApJ 2008
Last Modified: 2007-11-27 06:01
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Abstracts by Author
2010 August 1-2 sympathetic eruptions: I. Magnetic topology of the source-surface background field
Magnetic Topology of Coronal Hole Linkages
Slip-Squashing Factors as a Measure of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection
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