Magnetic reconnection in flux-tubes undergoing spinning footpoint motions

A. L. Wilmot-Smith, I. De Moortel

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    Abstract

    Aims.Photospheric motions acting on the coronal magnetic field have the potential to build up huge amounts of magnetic energy. The energy may be released through magnetic reconnection, and so a detailed understanding of the 3D process is crucial if its implications for coronal heating are to be fully addressed. Methods.A 3D MHD experiment is described in which misaligned magnetic flux tubes are subjected to simple spinning boundary motions. Results.The resulting shear between adjacent flux systems generates a twisted central separator current sheet that extends vertically throughout the domain. Current density is amplified to a sufficient extent that reconnection begins, and occurs everywhere along the separator current sheet, while the separatrix current sheets that exist in the early stages of the experiment are found to be unimportant in the systems dynamical evolution. In 2D cross-sections, the reconnection process exhibits many similarities to the regime of flux pile-up reconnection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)615-623
    Number of pages9
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Volume473
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Sun: reconnection
    • Sun: magnetic fields
    • Sun: corona
    • Sun: activity
    • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

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