Browsing by Subject "Magnetic fields: photosphere"

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  • James, A. W.; Green, L. M.; Palmerio, E.; Valori, G.; Reid, H. A. S.; Baker, D.; Brooks, D. H.; van Driel-Gesztelyi, L.; Kilpua, E. K. J. (2017)
    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are one of the primary manifestations of solar activity and can drive severe space weather effects. Therefore, it is vital to work towards being able to predict their occurrence. However, many aspects of CME formation and eruption remain unclear, including whether magnetic flux ropes are present before the onset of eruption and the key mechanisms that cause CMEs to occur. In this work, the pre-eruptive coronal configuration of an active region that produced an interplanetary CME with a clear magnetic flux rope structure at 1 AU is studied. A forward-S sigmoid appears in extremeultra-violet (EUV) data two hours before the onset of the eruption (SOL2012-06-14), which is interpreted as a signature of a right-handed flux rope that formed prior to the eruption. Flare ribbons and EUV dimmings are used to infer the locations of the flux rope footpoints. These locations, together with observations of the global magnetic flux distribution, indicate that an interaction between newly emerged magnetic flux and pre-existing sunspot field in the days prior to the eruption may have enabled the coronal flux rope to form via tethercutting-like reconnection. Composition analysis suggests that the flux rope had a coronal plasma composition, supporting our interpretation that the flux rope formed via magnetic reconnection in the corona. Once formed, the flux rope remained stable for two hours before erupting as a CME.
  • Pomoell, Jens; Lumme, Erkka; Kilpua, Emilia (2019)
    In this work, we present results of a time-dependent data-driven numerical simulation developed to study the dynamics of coronal active region magnetic fields. The evolving boundary condition driving the model, the photospheric electric field, is inverted using a time sequence of vector magnetograms as input. We invert three distinct electric field datasets for a single active region. All three electric fields reproduce the observed evolution of the normal component of the magnetic field. Two of the datasets are constructed so as to match the energy input into the corona to that provided by a reference estimate. Using the three inversions as input to a time-dependent magnetofrictional model, we study the response of the coronal magnetic field to the driving electric fields. The simulations reveal the magnetic field evolution to be sensitive to the input electric field despite the normal component of the magnetic field evolving identically and the total energy injection being largely similar. Thus, we demonstrate that the total energy injection is not sufficient to characterize the evolution of the coronal magnetic field: coronal evolution can be very different despite similar energy injections. We find the relative helicity to be an important additional metric that allows one to distinguish the simulations. In particular, the simulation with the highest relative helicity content produces a coronal flux rope that subsequently erupts, largely in agreement with extreme-ultraviolet imaging observations of the corresponding event. Our results suggest that time-dependent data-driven simulations that employ carefully constructed driving boundary conditions offer a valuable tool for modeling and characterizing the evolution of coronal magnetic fields.