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Global Energetics of Solar Flares, X. Petschek Reconnection Rate and Alfvén Mach Number of Magnetic Reconnection Outflows View all abstracts by submitter

Markus J. Aschwanden   Submitted: 2020-05-07 13:48

We investigate physical scaling laws for magnetic energy dissipation in solar flares, in the framework of the Sweet-Parker model and the Petschek model. We find that the total dissipated magnetic energy Ediss in a flare depends on the mean magnetic field component Bf associated with the free energy Ef, the length scale L of the magnetic area, the hydrostatic density scale height lambda of the solar corona, the Alfvén Mach number M_A=v_1/vA (the ratio of the inflow speed v1 to the Alfvénic outflow speed vA), and the flare duration au_f, i.e., Ediss = (1/4π) B_f^2 L lambda vA M_A au_f, where the Alfvén speed depends on the nonpotential field strength Bnp and the mean electron density ne in the reconnection outflow. Using MDI/SDO and AIA/SDO observations and 3-D magnetic field solutions obtained with the vertical-current approximation nonlinear force-free field code (VCA-NLFFF) we measure all physical parameters necessary to test scaling laws, which represents a new method to measure Alfvén Mach numbers MA, the reconnection rate, and the total free energy dissipated in solar flares.

Authors: Markus J. Aschwanden
Projects: SDO-HMI

Publication Status: ApJ (in press)
Last Modified: 2020-05-11 15:28
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