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Hui Li   Submitted: 2006-06-15 00:35

We study the magnetic field evolution and topology of the active region NOAA 10486 before the 3B/X1.2 flare of 2003 October 26, using observational data from the French-Italian THEMIS telescope, the Michelson Doppler Imager onboard Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, the Solar Magnetic Field Telescope at Huairou Solar Observing Station, and the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer. Three dimensional (3D) extrapolation of photospheric magnetic field, assuming a potential field configuration, reveals the existence of two magnetic null points in the corona above the active region. We look at their role in the triggering of the main flare, by using the bright patches observed in TRACE 1600 {AA} images as tracers at the solar surface of energy release associated with magnetic reconnection at the null points. All the bright patches observed before the flare correspond to the low-altitude null point. They have no direct relationship with the X1.2 flare because the related separatrix is located far from the eruptive site. No bright patch corresponds to the high-altitude null point before the flare. We conclude that eruptions can be triggered without pre-eruptive coronal null point reconnection, and the presence of null points is not a sufficient condition for the occurrence of flares. We propose that this eruptive flare results from the loss of equilibrium due to persistent flux emergence, continuous photospheric motion and strong shear along the magnetic neutral line. The opening of the coronal field lines above the active region should be a byproduct of the large 3B/X1.2 flare rather than its trigger.

Projects: None

Publication Status: Solar Physics, (accepted)
Last Modified: 2006-06-16 11:07
Go to main E-Print page  Relations between concurrent hard X-ray sources in solar flares  Photospheric Magnetic Field Properties of Flaring Versus Flare-Quiet Active Regions. III. Magnetic Charge Topology Models  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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