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Free Magnetic Energy and Flare Productivity of Active Regions View all abstracts by submitter

Ju Jing   Submitted: 2010-03-02 14:19

In this study, the photospheric vector magnetograms, obtained with the Spectro-Polarimeter of the Solar Optical Telescope on board Hinode, are used as the boundary conditions to extrapolate the three-dimensional non-linear force-free (NLFF) coronal magnetic fields. The observed non-force-free photospheric magnetic fields are preprocessed towards the nearly force-free chromospheric magnetic fields. The performance of the preprocessing procedure is evaluated by comparing with chromospheric magnetic fields obtained by the Vector SpectroMagnetograph instrument located on the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) Tower. Then the weighted optimization method is applied to the preprocessed boundary data to extrapolate the NLFF fields with which we are able to estimate the free magnetic energy stored in the active regions. The magnitude scaling correlation between the free magnetic energy and the soft X-ray flare index of active regions is then studied. The latter quantifies the impending flare production of active regions over the subsequent 1-, 2- and 3-day time windows. Based on 75 samples, we find a positive correlation between the free energy and the flare index. We also study the temporal variation of free magnetic energy for three active regions, of which two are flare-active and one is flare-quiet during the observation over a period of several days. While the magnitude of free magnetic energy unambiguously differentiates between the flare-active and the flare-quiet regions, the temporal variation of free magnetic energy does not exhibit a clear and consistent pre-flare pattern. This may indicate that the trigger mechanism of flares is as important as the energy storage in active regions.

Authors: Ju Jing, Changyi Tan, Yuan Yuan, Benjamin Wang, Thomas Wiegelmann, Yan Xu, and Haimin Wang
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for Publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Last Modified: 2010-04-19 09:53
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