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Observation of An Evolving Magnetic Flux Rope Prior To and During A Solar Eruption View all abstracts by submitter

Jie Zhang   Submitted: 2012-03-21 01:51

Explosive energy release is a common phenomenon occurring in magnetized plasma systems ranging from laboratories, Earth's magnetosphere, the solar corona and astrophysical environments. Its physical explanation is usually attributed to magnetic reconnection in a thin current sheet. Here we report the important role of magnetic flux rope structure, a volumetric current channel, in producing explosive events. The flux rope is observed as a hot channel prior to and during a solar eruption from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) telescope on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO). It initially appears as a twisted and writhed sigmoidal structure with a temperature as high as 10 MK and then transforms toward a semi-circular shape during a slow rise phase, which is followed by fast acceleration and onset of a flare. The observations suggest that the instability of the magnetic flux rope trigger the eruption, thus making a major addition to the traditional magnetic-reconnection paradigm.

Authors: J. Zhang, X. Cheng, and M. D. Ding
Projects: SDO-AIA

Publication Status: Nature Communications www.nature.com/naturecommunications
Last Modified: 2012-03-21 13:00
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