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Observations of the Formation, Development, and Structure of a Current Sheet in an Eruptive Solar Flare  

Daniel Seaton   Submitted: 2016-10-24 13:32

We present AIA observations of a structure we interpret as a current sheet associated with an X4.9 flare and coronal mass ejection that occurred on 2014 February 25 in NOAA Active Region 11990. We characterize the properties of the current sheet, finding that the sheet remains on the order of a few thousand km thick for much of the duration of the event and that its temperature generally ranged between 8-10MK. We also note the presence of other phenomena believed to be associated with magnetic reconnection in current sheets, including supra-arcade downflows and shrinking loops. We estimate that the rate of reconnection during the event was MA≈0.004-0.007, a value consistent with model predictions. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this event for reconnection-based eruption models.

Authors: Daniel B. Seaton, Allison E. Bartz, & Jonathan M. Darnel
Projects: GOES X-rays,SDO-AIA,SoHO-LASCO

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Last Modified: 2016-10-25 12:27
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SWAP Observations of Post-flare Giant Arches in the Long-Duration 14 October 2014 Solar Eruption  

Daniel Seaton   Submitted: 2015-02-03 23:04

On 14 October 2014 the Sun Watcher with Active Pixels and Image Processing (SWAP) EUV solar telescope on-board the Project for On-Board Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) spacecraft observed an eruption that led to the formation of perhaps the largest post-eruptive loop system seen in the solar corona in solar cycle 24. The initial eruption occurred at about 18:30 UT on 14 October, behind the East Solar limb, and was observed as a a coronal mass ejection and an M2.2 solar flare. In the 48 hours following the eruption, the associated post-eruptive loops grew to a height of approximately 400000 km (>0.5 solar-radii) at rates between 2-6 km s-1. We conclude from our observations of this event that ordinary post-eruptive loops and so-called post-flare giant arches are fundamentally the same and are formed by the same magnetic reconnection mechanism.

Authors: Matthew J. West and Daniel B. Seaton
Projects: PROBA2/SWAP,SDO-AIA

Publication Status: ApJL (in press)
Last Modified: 2015-02-04 11:59
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SWAP Observations of the Long-Term, Large-Scale Evolution of the EUV Solar Corona  

Daniel Seaton   Submitted: 2013-09-09 02:44

The Sun Watcher with Active Pixels and Image Processing (SWAP) EUV solar telescope on board the Project for On-Board Autonomy 2 (PROBA2) spacecraft has been regularly observing the solar corona in a bandpass near 17.4 nm since February 2010. With a field-of-view of 54x54 arcmin, SWAP provides the widest-field images of the EUV corona available from the perspective of the Earth. By carefully processing and combining multiple SWAP images it is possible to produce low-noise composites that reveal the structure of the EUV corona to relatively large heights. A particularly important step in this processing was to remove instrumental stray light from the images by determining and deconvolving SWAP's point spread function (PSF) from the observations. In this paper we use the resulting images to conduct the first ever study of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the corona observed in the EUV over a three-year period that includes the complete rise phase of solar cycle 24. Of particular note is the persistence over many solar rotations of bright, diffuse features composed of open magnetic field that overlie polar crown filaments and extend to large heights above the solar surface. These features appear to be related to coronal fans, which have previously been observed in white-light coronagraph images and, at low heights, in the EUV. We also discuss the evolution of the corona at different heights above the solar surface and the evolution of the corona over the course of the solar cycle by hemisphere.

Authors: Seaton, D. B., De Groof, A., Shearer, P., Berghmans, D., Nicula, B.
Projects: PROBA2/SWAP

Publication Status: Accepted
Last Modified: 2013-09-09 10:12
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Abstracts by Author
Observations of the Formation, Development, and Structure of a Current Sheet in an Eruptive Solar Flare
SWAP Observations of Post-flare Giant Arches in the Long-Duration 14 October 2014 Solar Eruption
SWAP Observations of the Long-Term, Large-Scale Evolution of the EUV Solar Corona

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