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Electric current in flares ribbons: observations and 3D standard model  

Miho Janvier   Submitted: 2014-04-25 05:25

We present for the first time the evolution of the photospheric electric currents during an eruptive X-class flare, accurately predicted by the standard 3D flare model. We analyze this evolution for the February 15, 2011 flare using HMI/SDO magnetic observations and find that localized currents in J-shaped ribbons increase to double their pre-flare intensity. Our 3D flare model, developed with the OHM code, suggests that these current ribbons, which develop at the location of EUV brightenings seen with AIA imagery, are driven by the collapse of the flare's coronal current layer. These findings of increased currents restricted in localized ribbons are consistent with the overall free energy decrease during a flare, and the shape of these ribbons also give an indication on how much twisted the erupting flux rope is. Finally, this study further enhances the close correspondence obtained between the theoretical predictions of the standard 3D model and flare observations indicating that the main key physical elements are incorporated in the model.

Authors: M. Janvier, G. Aulanier, V. Bommier, B. Schmieder, P. Démoulin, E. Pariat
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted in The Astrophysical Journal
Last Modified: 2014-04-27 14:54
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Are There Different Populations of Flux Ropes in the Solar Wind?  

Miho Janvier   Submitted: 2014-02-19 12:16

Flux ropes are twisted magnetic structures, which can be detected by in situ measurements in the solar wind. However, different properties of detected flux ropes suggest different types of flux-rope population. As such, are there different populations of flux ropes? The answer is positive, and is the result of the analysis of four lists of flux ropes, including magnetic clouds (MCs), observed at 1 AU. The in situ data for the four lists have been fitted with the same cylindrical force-free field model, which provides an estimation of the local flux-rope parameters such as its radius and orientation. Since the flux-rope distributions have a large dynamic range, we go beyond a simple histogram analysis by developing a partition technique that uniformly distributes the statistical fluctuations over the radius range. By doing so, we find that small flux ropes with radius R<0.1 AU have a steep power-law distribution in contrast to the larger flux ropes (identified as MCs), which have a Gaussian-like distribution. Next, from four CME catalogs, we estimate the expected flux-rope frequency per year at 1 AU. We find that the predicted numbers are similar to the frequencies of MCs observed in situ. However, we also find that small flux ropes are at least ten times too abundant to correspond to CMEs, even to narrow ones. Investigating the different possible scenarios for the origin of those small flux ropes, we conclude that these twisted structures can be formed by blowout jets in the low corona or in coronal streamers.

Authors: M. Janvier, P. Demoulin, S. Dasso
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted
Last Modified: 2014-02-20 10:19
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The standard flare model in three dimensions III. Slip-running reconnection properties  

Miho Janvier   Submitted: 2013-05-17 03:58

A standard model for eruptive flares aims at describing observational 3D features of the reconnecting coronal magnetic field. Extensions to the 2D model require the physical understanding of 3D reconnection processes at the origin of the magnetic configuration evolution. However, the properties of 3D reconnection without null point and separatrices still need to be analyzed. We focus on magnetic reconnection associated with the growth and evolution of a flux rope and associated flare loops during an eruptive flare. We aim at understanding the intrinsic characteristics of 3D reconnection in the presence of quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs), how QSL properties are related to the slip-running reconnection mode in general, and how this applies to eruptive flares in particular. We studied the slip-running reconnection of field lines in a magnetohydrodynamic simulation of an eruptive flare associated with a torus-unstable flux rope. The squashing degree and the mapping norm are two parameters related to the QSLs. We computed them to investigate their relation with the slip-running reconnection speed of selected field lines. Field lines associated with the flux rope and the flare loops undergo a continuous series of magnetic reconnection, which results in their super-Alfvénic slipping motion. The time profile of their slippage speed and the space distribution of the mapping norm are shown to be strongly correlated. We find that the motion speed is proportional to the mapping norm. Moreover, this slip-running motion becomes faster as the flux rope expands, since the 3D current layer evolves toward a current sheet, and QSLs to separatrices. The present analysis extends our understanding of the 3D slip-running reconnection regime. We identified a controlling parameter of the apparent velocity of field lines while they slip-reconnect, enabling the interpretation of the evolution of post flare loops. This work completes the standard model for flares and eruptions by giving its 3D properties.

Authors: Janvier M., Aulanier G., Pariat E., Demoulin P.
Projects: None

Publication Status: A&A in press
Last Modified: 2013-05-17 14:10
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Global axis shape of magnetic clouds deduced from the distribution of their local axis orientation  

Miho Janvier   Submitted: 2013-05-17 03:55

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are routinely tracked with imagers in the interplanetary space while magnetic clouds (MCs) properties are measured locally by spacecraft. However, both imager and insitu data do not provide direct estimation on the global flux rope properties. The main aim of this study is to constrain the global shape of the flux rope axis from local measurements, and to compare the results from in-situ data with imager observations. We perform a statistical analysis of the set of MCs observed by WIND spacecraft over 15 years in the vicinity of Earth. We analyze the correlation between different MC parameters and study the statistical distributions of the angles defining the local axis orientation. With the hypothesis of having a sample of MCs with a uniform distribution of spacecraft crossing along their axis, we show that a mean axis shape can be derived from the distribution of the axis orientation. In complement, while heliospheric imagers do not typically observe MCs but only their sheath region, we analyze one event where the flux-rope axis can be estimated from the STEREO imagers. From the analysis of a set of theoretical models, we show that the distribution of the local axis orientation is strongly affected by the global axis shape. Next, we derive the mean axis shape from the integration of the observed orientation distribution. This shape is robust as it is mostly determined from the global shape of the distribution. Moreover, we find no dependence on the flux-rope inclination on the ecliptic. Finally, the derived shape is fully consistent with the one derived from heliospheric imager observations of the June 2008 event. We have derived a mean shape of MC axis which only depends on one free parameter, the angular separation of the legs (as viewed from the Sun). This mean shape can be used in various contexts such as the study of high energy particles or space weather forecast.

Authors: Janvier M., Demoulin P., Dasso S.
Projects: Wind

Publication Status: A&A in press
Last Modified: 2013-05-17 14:10
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Abstracts by Author
Electric current in flares ribbons: observations and 3D standard model
Are There Different Populations of Flux Ropes in the Solar Wind?
The standard flare model in three dimensions III. Slip-running reconnection properties
Global axis shape of magnetic clouds deduced from the distribution of their local axis orientation

Related Pages
MSU Solar Physics.
Max Millennium Science Mail Archive.
Max Millennium Message of the Day Mail Archive.
Max Millennium Flare Catalog

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