Extreme ultraviolet imaging of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a solar eruption
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
Magnetic reconnection, a change of magnetic field connectivity, is a fundamental physical process in which magnetic energy is released explosively, and it is responsible for various eruptive phenomena in the universe. However, this process is difficult to observe directly. Here, the magnetic topology associated with a solar reconnection event is studied in three dimensions using the combined perspectives of two spacecraft. The sequence of extreme ultraviolet images clearly shows that two groups of oppositely directed and non-coplanar magnetic loops gradually approach each other, forming a separator or quasi-separator and then reconnecting. The plasma near the reconnection site is subsequently heated from ∼ 1 to ≥ 5MK. Shortly afterwards, warm flare loops (∼3MK) appear underneath the hot plasma. Other observational signatures of reconnection, including plasma inflows and downflows, are unambiguously revealed and quantitatively measured. These observations provide direct evidence of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration and reveal its origin.
Sun , J Q , Cheng , X , Ding , M D , Guo , Y , Priest , E R , Parnell , C E , Edwards , S J , Zhang , J , Chen , P F & Fang , C 2015 , ' Extreme ultraviolet imaging of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a solar eruption ' , Nature Communications , vol. 6 , 7598 . https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8598
Copyright 2015 the Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
DescriptionX.C., J.Q.S., M.D.D., Y.G., P.F.C. and C.F. are supported by NSFC through grants 11303016, 11373023, 11203014 and 11025314, and by NKBRSF through grants 2011CB811402 and 2014CB744203. C.E.P. and S.J.E. are supported by the UK STFC. J.Z. is supported by US NSF AGS-1249270 and AGS-1156120.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.