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Shocks and Thermal Conduction Fronts in Retracting Reconnected Flux Tubes View all abstracts by submitter

Silvina Guidoni   Submitted: 2010-07-07 10:02

We present a model for plasma heating produced by time-dependent, spatially localized reconnection within a flare current sheet separating skewed magnetic fields. The reconnection creates flux tubes of new connectivity which subsequently retract at Alfvénic speeds from the reconnection site. Heating occurs in gas-dynamic shocks (GDSs) which develop inside these tubes. Here we present generalized thin flux tube equations for the dynamics of reconnected flux tubes, including pressure-driven parallel dynamics as well as temperature-dependent, anisotropic viscosity and thermal conductivity. The evolution of tubes embedded in a uniform, skewed magnetic field, following reconnection in a patch, is studied through numerical solutions of these equations, for solar coronal conditions. Even though viscosity and thermal conductivity are negligible in the quiet solar corona, the strong GDSs generated by compressing plasma inside reconnected flux tubes generate large velocity and temperature gradients along the tube, rendering the diffusive processes dominant. They determine the thickness of the shock that evolves up to a steady state value, although this condition may not be reached in the short times involved in a flare. For realistic solar coronal parameters, this steady state shock thickness might be as long as the entire flux tube. For strong shocks at low Prandtl numbers, typical of the solar corona, the GDS consists of an isothermal sub-shock where all the compression and cooling occur, preceded by a thermal front where the temperature increases and most of the heating occurs. We estimate the length of each of these sub-regions and the speed of their propagation.

Authors: Silvina Guidoni and Dana Longcope
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ (in press)
Last Modified: 2010-07-07 12:07
Go to main E-Print page  Observational evidence of resonantly damped propagating kink waves in the solar corona  Automated Detection of Oscillating Regions in the Solar Atmosphere  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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