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Generalised models for torsional spine and fan magnetic reconnection View all abstracts by submitter

David Pontin   Submitted: 2011-05-16 02:02

Three-dimensional null points are present in abundance in the solar corona,and the same is likely to be true in other astrophysical environments. Recentstudies suggest that reconnection at such 3D nulls may play an important rolein the coronal dynamics. In this paper the properties of the torsional spineand torsional fan modes of magnetic reconnection at 3D nulls are investigated.New analytical models are developed, which for the first time include a currentlayer that is spatially localised around the null, extending along either thespine or the fan of the null. These are complemented with numericalsimulations. The principal aim is to investigate the effect of varying thedegree of asymmetry of the null point magnetic field on the resultingreconnection process - where previous studies always considered a non-genericradially symmetric null. The geometry of the current layers within whichtorsional spine and torsional fan reconnection occur is found to be stronglydependent on the symmetry of the magnetic field. Torsional spine reconnectionstill occurs in a narrow tube around the spine, but with ellipticalcross-section when the fan eigenvalues are different, and with the short axisof the ellipse being along the strong field direction. The spatiotemporal peakcurrent, and the peak reconnection rate attained, are found not to dependstrongly on the degree of asymmetry. For torsional fan reconnection, thereconnection occurs in a planar disk in the fan surface, which is againelliptical when the symmetry of the magnetic field is broken. The short axis ofthe ellipse is along the weak field direction, with the current being peaked inthese weak field regions. The peak current and peak reconnection rate in thiscase are clearly dependent on the asymmetry, with the peak current increasingbut the reconnection rate decreasing as the degree of asymmetry is increased.

Authors: D. I. Pontin, A. K. Al-Hachami and K. Galsgaard
Projects: None

Publication Status: submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics
Last Modified: 2011-05-16 08:41
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