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A Model for Solar Polar Jets View all abstracts by submitter

Etienne Pariat   Submitted: 2008-10-16 06:59

We propose a model for the jetting activity that is commonly observed in the Sun's corona, especially in the open-field regions of polar coronal holes. Magnetic reconnection is the process driving the jets and a relevant magnetic configuration is the well known null-point and fan-separatrix topology. The primary challenge in explaining the observations is that reconnection must occur in a short-duration energetic burst, rather than quasi-continuously as is implied by the observations of long-lived structures in coronal holes, such as polar plumes. The key idea underlying our model for jets is that reconnection is forbidden for an axisymmetric null-point topology. Consequently, by imposing a twisting motion that maintains the axisymmetry, magnetic stress can be built up to high levels until an ideal instability breaks the symmetry and leads to an explosive release of energy via reconnection. Using three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we demonstrate that this mechanism does produce massive, high-speed jets driven by nonlinear Alfvén waves. We discuss the implications of our results for observations of the solar corona.

Authors: E. Pariat, S. K. Antiochos & C. R. DeVore
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ, in press
Last Modified: 2008-10-16 08:32
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