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Formation and Eruption of an Active Region Sigmoid: I. Study by Nonlinear Force-Free Field Modeling View all abstracts by submitter

Chaowei Jiang   Submitted: 2013-10-30 20:55

We present a magnetic analysis of the formation and eruption of an active region (AR) sigmoid in AR 11283 from 2011 September 4 to 6. To follow the quasi-static evolution of the coronal magnetic field, we reconstruct a time sequence of static fields using a recently developed nonlinear force-free field model constrained by the SDO/HMI vector magnetograms. A detailed analysis of the fields compared with the SDO/AIA observations suggests the following scenario for the evolution of the region. Initially, a new bipole emerges into the negative polarity of a pre-existing bipolar AR, forming a null point topology between the two flux systems. A weakly twisted flux rope (FR) is then built up slowly in the embedded core region, largely through flux-cancellation photospheric reconnections, forming a bald patch separatrix surface (BPSS) separating the FR from its ambient field. The FR grows gradually until its axis runs into a torus instability (TI) domain near the end of the third day, and the BPSS also develops a fully S-shape. Unlike in the case of standard TI, the FR does not erupt instantly since it is still attached at the photosphere along the bald patch (BP) portion of the polarity inversion line. The combined effects of the TI-driven expansion of the FR and the line-tying at the BP tear the FR into two parts with the upper portion freely expelled and the lower portion remaining behind the post-flare arcades. This process dynamically perturbs the BPSS and results in the transient enhanced brightening of the sigmoid. The accelerated expansion of the upper portion of the FR strongly pushes its envelope flux near the null point and triggers breakout reconnection at the null, as evidenced by a remarkable circular flare ribbon, which further facilitates the eruption. We discuss the important implications of these results for the formation and disruption of sigmoid region with FR.

Authors: Chaowei Jiang, S. T. Wu, Xueshang Feng, Qiang Hu

Publication Status: Accepted by ApJ
Last Modified: 2013-10-31 08:18
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