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Magnetic topologies: where will reconnection occur ? View all abstracts by submitter

Pascal Demoulin   Submitted: 2005-10-12 06:05

The energy needed to power flares is thought to come from the coronal magnetic field. However, such energy release is efficient only at very small scales. Magnetic configurations with a complex topology, i.e. with separatrices, are the most obvious configurations where current layers can spontaneously form. 3-D magnetic configurations have a variety of magnetic topologies not suspected before. If the photospheric field is described by an ensemble of magnetic charges, separated by flux-free regions, a complete topological description of the associated potential field is provided by the skeleton formed by the null points, spines, fans and separators. In order to better match the observed photospheric magnetograms, the magnetic charges can be set below the photosphere; then an extra topological element can appear, so-called bald patches with associated separatrices. In several flaring configurations the computed separatrices allows to understand the localization of the flare ribbons in the framework of magnetic reconnection. However, this view is too restrictive taking into account the variety of observed solar flaring configurations. Indeed ``quasi-separatrix layers'' (QSLs), which are regions where there is a drastic change in field-line linkage, generalize the definition of separatrices for magnetic fields extending in the full volume (photosphere and corona). The concept of ``hyperbolic flux tube'' (HFT) also generalizes the concept of separator. These studies indeed teach us that coronal magnetic reconnection occurs in a broader variety of magnetic configurations than traditionally thought, and this variety is reviewed.

Authors: Demoulin, P.
Projects: None

Publication Status: ESA publication, in press
Last Modified: 2005-10-12 06:05
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