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Observation of Magnetic reconnection at a 3D null point associated with a solar eruption  

Jianqing SUN   Submitted: 2016-09-22 18:59

Magnetic null has long been recognized as a special structure serving as a preferential site for magnetic reconnection (MR). However, the direct observational study of MR at null-points is largely lacking. Here, we show the observations of MR around a magnetic null associated with an eruption that resulted in an M1.7 flare and a coronal mass ejection. The GOES X- ray profile of the flare exhibited two peaks at 02:23 UT and 02:40 UT on 2012 November 8, respectively. Based on the imaging observations, we find that the first and also primary X- ray peak was originated from MR in the current sheet underneath the erupting magnetic flux rope (MFR). On the other hand, the second and also weaker X-ray peak was caused by MR around a null-point located above the pre-eruption MFR. The interaction of the null-point and the erupting MFR can be described as a two-step process. During the first step, the erupting and fast expanding MFR passed through the null-point, resulting in a significant displacement of the magnetic field surrounding the null. During the second step, the displaced magnetic field started to move back, resulting in a converging inflow and subsequently the MR around the null. The null-point reconnection is a different process from the current sheet reconnection in this flare; the latter is the cause of the main peak of the flare, while the former is the cause of the secondary peak of the flare and the conspicuous high-lying cusp structure.

Authors: J. Q. Sun, J. Zhang, K. Yang, X. Cheng, M. D. Ding
Projects: None

Publication Status: in press
Last Modified: 2016-09-23 15:45
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Observation of Magnetic reconnection at a 3D null point associated with a solar eruption

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