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Origin and Evolution of Filament-Prominence Systems View all abstracts by submitter

Piet Martens   Submitted: 2001-05-23 16:27

We present a 'head-to-tail' linkage model for the formation, evolution, and eruption of solar filaments. The magnetic field structure of our model is based upon the observation that filaments form exclusively in filament channels with no apparent magnetic connections above the polarity inversion line. The formation of a filament in this configuration is driven by flux convergence and cancellation, which produces loop-like filaments segments with a half-turn. Filament segments of like chirality may connect and form long quiescent filaments. Such filaments are stabilized through footpoint anchoring until further cancellation at the footpoints causes their eruption. The eruption restores the original filament channel so that filament formation may resume immediately. We then demonstrate that the combined workings of Hale's polarity law, Joy's law, and differential rotation introduce a strong hemispheric preference in the chirality of filaments formed poleward of the sunspot belt, in agreement with observations. We analyze the magnetic fine structure of filaments formed through our model and find consistency with the observed hemispheric preference for barb orientation and a simple explanation for barb formation. Finally we consider the flux tubes retracted below the surface in the process of filament formation. We show that every cancellation event that generates a filament obeying the hemispheric chirality preference, injects a flux tube below the surface with a poloidal field opposite to that of the ongoing cycle. We suggest that this pattern of submergence of flux represents the specific mechanism for the reversal of the poloidal flux in a Babcock-Leighton-Durney type model for the solar dynamo.

Authors: Petrus C. Martens & Cornelis Zwaan

Publication Status: ApJ, 558, 872 (2001)
Last Modified: 2001-10-24 09:37
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