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Sigmoid Formation Through Slippage of A Single J-shaped Coronal Loop  

Hanya Pan   Submitted: 2022-08-30 19:22

A well-known precursor of an imminent solar eruption is the appearance of a hot S-shaped loop, also known as sigmoid, in an active region (AR). Classically, the formation of such an S-shaped loop is envisaged to be implemented by magnetic reconnection of two oppositely oriented J-shaped loops. However, the details of reconnection are elusive due to weak emission and subtle evolution during the pre-eruptive phase. In this paper, we investigate how a single J-shaped loop transforms into an S-shaped one through the slippage of one of its footpoints in NOAA AR 11719 on 2013 April 11. During an interval of about 16 min, the J-shaped loop slips through a low-corona region of strong electric current density in a bursty fashion, reaching a peak apparent speed as fast as over 1000 km s-1, at the slipping footpoint. The enhancement of electric current density, as suggested by non-linear force-free field modeling, indicates that the "non-idealness" of coronal plasma becomes locally important, which may facilitate magnetic reconnection. The loop segment undergoing slipping motions is heated; meanwhile, above the fixed footpoint coronal emission dims due to a combination effect of the lengthening and heating of the loop, the latter of which is manifested in the temporal variation of dimming slope and of emission measure. These features together support an asymmetric scenario of sigmoid formation through slipping reconnection of a single J-shaped loop, which differs from the standard tether-cutting scenario involving a double J-shaped loop system.

Authors: Hanya Pan, Tingyu Gou, Rui Liu
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ (Accepted August 26, 2022)
Last Modified: 2022-08-31 13:08
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Sigmoid Formation Through Slippage of A Single J-shaped Coronal Loop

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