Eruptions and jets in the Sun
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Magnetic flux emergence is a fundamental process in the Sun, during which magnetic fields emerge from the solar interior to the surface, to build up active regions and give onset to spectacular dynamic phenomena, such as eruptions and jets. In this thesis, we performed 3D, resistive MHD simulations to study the emergence and the associated magnetic activity of a quadrupolar region in the Sun. Our aim behind the setup of this initial condition (i.e. a quadrupolar region) was to study a magnetic field configuration, which has not been studied in detail before, although it has been repeatedly observed in the Sun and it has been shown that it can host intense magnetic activity (e.g. in the form of jets, flares and eruptions). The results of our experiments showed that the internal dynamics of such regions leads to the onset of eruptions in the form of twisted magnetic flux tubes (flux ropes). These eruptions are recurrent but they cannot escape the outermost field of the emerging flux (envelope field). They remain confined within the envelope field, as the downward tension of the outermost field lines overwhelms the upward Lorentz force of the erupting field. When we add an ambient magnetic field in the solar atmosphere, external reconnection between the emerging and the ambient field triggers the emission of (standard) reconnection jets. The external reconnection also releases the tension of the ambient field lines and, thus, the eruptions move in an ejective way towards the outer space. Namely, the confined eruptions become ejective eruptions, which escape from the numerical domain. These ejective eruptions drive a newly observed class of jets, the so called "blowout" jets. Our experiments reproduce some of the main observed characteristics of the "blowout" jets. We showed that "blowout" jets emit hot and cool plasma into the outer solar atmosphere simultaneously, and they undergo untwisting motion due to the relaxation of twist during their ejection. We found that the untwisting motion of the "blowout" jets is associated with the propagation of torsional Alfvén waves. Finally, we performed a parametric study to explore the effect of the ambient field strength on the onset and dynamics of the eruptive events. We found that one of the main effects is that the stronger ambient field suppresses the vertical expansion of the magnetic envelope of the quadrupolar region due to the higher magnetic pressure above it. This result has an effect on the emission of jets, which are emitted due to reconnection between the two fields. When the ambient field is relatively weak, it is pushed away from the strong emerging field and reconnection between them is not so persistent. On the other hand, when the ambient field is relatively strong, we find that more jets are ejected due to more efficient and more frequent reconnection between the two flux systems. As a consequence, we find that more mass and flux is being transferred into the solar corona by the reconnection jets. Also, we find that there are more eruptions when the ambient field is stronger. The study of the total energy flux carried by the jets showed that it is sufficient to provide the energy required to accelerate the high speed solar wind. This indicates that the "blowout" jets may play an important role in driving the solar wind.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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