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

A. L. Wilmot-Smith, D. I. Pontin, G. Hornig

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    67 Citations (Scopus)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberA5
    Pages (from-to)-
    Number of pages9
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
    • Plasmas
    • Sun: corona
    • Magnetic fields
    • Parallel electric fields
    • Current sheet formation
    • Solar corona
    • Null points
    • Evolution
    • Layers
    • Flux


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