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A time-dependent model for magnetic reconnection in the presence of a separator

A time-dependent model for magnetic reconnection in the presence of a separator

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Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Pages-
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Journal publication date20 Oct 2011
Volume740
Issue2
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

We present a model for separator reconnection due to an isolated reconnection process. Separator reconnection is a process which occurs in the neighborhood of a distinguished field line (the separator) connecting two null points of a magnetic field. It is, for example, important for the dynamics of magnetic flux at the dayside magnetopause and in the solar corona. We find that, above a certain threshold, such a reconnection process generates new separators, which leads to a complex system of magnetic flux tubes connecting regions of previously separated flux. Our findings are consistent with the findings of large numbers of separators in numerical simulations. We discuss how to measure and interpret the reconnection rate in a configuration with multiple separators.

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