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Yong-Jae Moon   Submitted: 2003-04-18 11:52

In this paper, we review recent studies on the magnetic helicity changes of solar active regions by photospheric horizontal motions. Recently, Chae(2001) developed a methodology to determine the magnetic helicity change rate via photospheric horizontal motions. We have applied this methodology to four cases: (1) NOAA AR 8100 which has a series of homologous X-ray flares, (2) three active regions which have four eruptive major X-ray flares, (3) NOAA AR 9236 which has three eruptive X-class flares, and (4) NOAA AR 8668 in which a large filament was under formation. As a result, we have found several interesting results. First, the rate of magnetic helicity injection strongly depends on an active region and its evolution. Its mean rate ranges from 4 to 17 imes 1040 mbox{ Mx}^2 mbox{ h}-1. Especially when the homologous flares occurred and when the filament was formed, significant rates of magnetic helicity were continuously deposited in the corona via photospheric shear flows. Second, there is a strong positive correlation between the magnetic helicity accumulated during the flaring time interval of the homologous flares in AR 8100 and the GOES X-ray flux integrated over the flaring time. This indicates that the occurrence of a series of homologous flares is physically related to the accumulation of magnetic helicity in the corona by photospheric shearing motions. Third, impulsive helicity variations took place near the flaring times of some strong flares. These impulsive variations whose time scales are less than one hour are attributed to localized velocity kernels around the polarity inversion line. Fourth, considering the filament eruption associated with an X1.8 flare started about 10 minutes before the impulsive variation of the helicity change rate, we suggest that the impulsive helicity variation is not a cause of the eruptive solar flare but its result. Finally, we discuss the physical implications on these results and our future plans.

Authors: Y.-J. Moon, Jongchul Chae, and Y. D. Park
Projects: Soho-MDI

Publication Status: JKAS, in press
Last Modified: 2003-04-18 11:52
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