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* News 04/04/20 * The archive is using a new backend database. This has thrown up a few SQL errors in the last few days. If you have any issues please email adavey@nso.edu with either the number of eprint you are trying to edit or a link to your preprint.

Dynamics of Late-Stage Reconnection in the 2017 September 10 Solar Flare  

Ryan French   Submitted: 2020-07-28 09:50

In this multi-instrument paper, we search for evidence of sustained magnetic reconnection far beyond the impulsive phase of the X8.2-class solar flare on 2017 September 10. Using Hinode/EIS, CoMP, SDO/AIA, K-Cor, Hinode/XRT, RHESSI, and IRIS, we study the late-stage evolution of the flare dynamics and topology, comparing signatures of reconnection with those expected from the standard solar flare model. Examining previously unpublished EIS data, we present the evolution of non-thermal velocity and temperature within the famous plasma sheet structure, for the first four hours of the flare's duration. On even longer time scales, we use Differential Emission Measures and polarization data to study the longevity of the flare's plasma sheet and cusp structure, discovering that the plasma sheet is still visible in CoMP linear polarization observations on 2017 September 11, long after its last appearance in EUV. We deduce that magnetic reconnection of some form is still ongoing at this time - 27 hours after flare onset.

Authors: Ryan J. French, Sarah A. Matthews, Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi, David M. Long, Philip G. Judge
Projects: MLSO/CoMP,Hinode/EIS,Hinode/XRT,IRIS,RHESSI,SDO-AIA

Publication Status: Accepted for publication to ApJ
Last Modified: 2020-07-29 13:06
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Spectropolarimetric Insight into Plasma-Sheet Dynamics of a Solar Flare  

Ryan French   Submitted: 2019-12-02 07:38

We examine spectropolarimetric data from the CoMP instrument, acquired during the evolution of the September 10th 2017 X8.2 solar flare on the western solar limb. CoMP captured linearly polarized light from two emission lines of Fe XIII at 1074.7 and 1079.8 nm, from 1.03 to 1.5 solar radii. We focus here on the hot plasma-sheet lying above the bright flare loops and beneath the ejected CME. The polarization has a striking and coherent spatial structure, with unexpectedly small polarization aligned with the plasma-sheet. By elimination, we find that small-scale magnetic field structure is needed to cause such significant depolarization, and suggest that plasmoid formation during reconnection (associated with the tearing mode instability) creates magnetic structure on scales below instrument resolution of 6 Mm. We conclude that polarization measurements with new coronagraphs, such as the upcoming DKIST, will further enhance our understanding of magnetic reconnection and development of turbulence in the solar corona.

Authors: Ryan J. French, Philip G. Judge, Sarah A. Matthews, Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi
Projects: MLSO/CoMP,SDO-AIA

Publication Status: Accepted for publication to ApJ Letters
Last Modified: 2019-12-04 11:28
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Dynamics of Late-Stage Reconnection in the 2017 September 10 Solar Flare
Spectropolarimetric Insight into Plasma-Sheet Dynamics of a Solar Flare

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