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Could switchbacks originate in the lower solar atmosphere? II. Propagation of switchbacks in the solar corona View all abstracts by submitter

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2021-04-21 01:28

The magnetic switchbacks observed recently by the Parker Solar Probe have raised the question about their nature and origin. One of the competing theories of their origin is the interchange reconnection in the solar corona. In this scenario, switchbacks are generated at the reconnection site between open and closed magnetic fields, and are either advected by an upflow or propagate as waves into the solar wind. In this paper we test the wave hypothesis, numerically modelling the propagation of a switchback, modelled as an embedded Alfvén wave packet of constant magnetic field magnitude, through the gravitationally stratified solar corona with different degrees of background magnetic field expansion. While switchbacks propagating in a uniform medium with no gravity are relatively stable, as reported previously, we find that gravitational stratification together with the expansion of the magnetic field act in multiple ways to deform the switchbacks. These include WKB effects, which depend on the degree of magnetic field expansion, and also finite-amplitude effects, such as the symmetry breaking between nonlinear advection and the Lorentz force. In a straight or radially expanding magnetic field the propagating switchbacks unfold into waves that cause minimal magnetic field deflections, while a super-radially expanding magnetic field aids in maintaining strong deflections. Other important effects are the mass uplift the propagating switchbacks induce and the reconnection and drainage of plasmoids contained within the switchbacks. In the Appendix, we examine a series of setups with different switchback configurations and parameters, which broaden the scope of our study.

Authors: Magyar, Norbert; Utz, Dominik; Erdélyi, Robertus; Nakariakov, Valery M.
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted in ApJ
Last Modified: 2021-04-21 11:29
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