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Dynamics of braided coronal loops

Dynamics of braided coronal loops: I. Onset of magnetic reconnection

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Journal publication date2010


Aims. The response of the solar coronal magnetic field to small-scale photospheric boundary motions including the possible formation of current sheets via the Parker scenario is one of open questions of solar physics. Here we address the problem via a numerical simulation.

Methods. The three-dimensional evolution of a braided magnetic field which is initially close to a force-free state is followed using a resistive MHD code.

Results. A long-wavelength instability takes place and leads to the formation of two thin current layers. Magnetic reconnection occurs across the current sheets with three-dimensional features shown, including an elliptic magnetic field structure about the reconnection site, and results in an untwisting of the global field structure.


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