Magnetic reconnection and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the solar corona
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
Context. The magnetic Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) has been proposed as a means of generating magnetohy- drodynamic turbulence and encouraging wave energy dissipation in the solar corona, particularly within transversely oscillating loops. Aims. Our goal is to determine whether the KHI encourages magnetic reconnection in oscillating flux tubes in the solar corona. This will establish whether the instability enhances the dissipation rate of energy stored in the magnetic field. Methods. We conducted a series of three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the KHI excited by an oscillating velocity shear. We investigated the effects of numerical resolution, field line length, and background currents on the growth rate of the KHI and on the subsequent rate of magnetic reconnection. Results. The KHI is able to trigger magnetic reconnection in all cases, with the highest rates occurring during the initial growth phase. Reconnection is found to occur preferentially along the boundaries of Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices, where the shear in the velocity and magnetic fields is greatest. The estimated rate of reconnection is found to be lowest in simulations where the KHI growth rate is reduced. For example, this is the case for shorter field lines or due to shear in the background field. Conclusions. In non-ideal regimes, the onset of the instability causes the local reconnection of magnetic field lines and enhances the rate of coronal wave heating. However, we found that if the equilibrium magnetic field is sheared across the Kelvin-Helmholtz mixing layer, the instability does not significantly enhance the rate of reconnection of the background field, despite the free energy associated with the non-potential field.
Howson , T A , De Moortel , I & Pontin , D 2021 , ' Magnetic reconnection and the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the solar corona ' , Astronomy & Astrophysics , vol. 656 , A112 . https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/202141620
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Copyright © 2021 ESO. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://www.aanda.org/
DescriptionFunding: The research leading to these results has received funding from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (consolidated grant ST/N000609/1), the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 647214). IDM received funding from the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence scheme, project No. 262622
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.