The cooling of coronal plasmas. IV. Catastrophic cooling of loops
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We examine the radiative cooling of coronal loops and demonstrate that the recently identified catastrophic cooling is due to the inability of a loop to sustain radiative/enthalpy cooling below a critical temperature, which can be >1 MK in flares, 0.5-1 MK in active regions, and 0.1 MK in long tenuous loops. Catastrophic cooling is characterized by a rapid fall in coronal temperature, while the coronal density changes by a small amount. Analytic expressions for the critical temperature are derived and show good agreement with numerical results. This effect considerably limits the lifetime of coronal plasmas below the critical temperature.
Cargill , P J & Bradshaw , S J 2013 , ' The cooling of coronal plasmas. IV. Catastrophic cooling of loops ' Astrophysical Journal , vol 772 , no. 1 , 40 . DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/772/1/40
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