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Title: Magnetic Reconnection in Strongly Magnetized Regions of the Low Solar Chromosphere

Abstract

Magnetic reconnection in strongly magnetized regions around the temperature minimum region of the low solar atmosphere is studied by employing MHD-based simulations of a partially ionized plasma within a reactive 2.5D multi-fluid model. It is shown that in the absence of magnetic nulls in a low β plasma, the ionized and neutral fluid flows are well-coupled throughout the reconnection region. Yet, non-equilibrium ionization–recombination dynamics play a vital role in determining the structure of the reconnection region, leading to much lower temperature increases and a faster magnetic reconnection rate as compared to simulations that assume plasma to be in ionization–recombination equilibrium. The rate of ionization of the neutral component of the plasma is always faster than recombination within the current sheet region even when the initial plasma β is as high as $${\beta }_{0}=1.46$$. When the reconnecting magnetic field is in excess of a kilogauss and the plasma β is lower than 0.0145, the initially weakly ionized plasmas can become fully ionized within the reconnection region and the current sheet can be strongly heated to above $$2.5\times {10}^{4}$$ K, even as most of the collisionally dissipated magnetic energy is radiated away. The Hall effect increases the reconnection rate slightly, but in the absence of magnetic nulls it does not conclude in significant asymmetries or change the characteristics of the reconnection current sheet down to meter scales.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yunnan (China). Yunnan Observatories; Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China)
  2. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alexandria, VA (United States)
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1542013
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016363
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 852; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; magnetic reconnection; magnetohydrodynamics (MHD); methods: numerical; Sun: chromosphere

Citation Formats

Ni, Lei, Lukin, Vyacheslav S., Murphy, Nicholas A., and Lin, Jun. Magnetic Reconnection in Strongly Magnetized Regions of the Low Solar Chromosphere. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa9edb.
Ni, Lei, Lukin, Vyacheslav S., Murphy, Nicholas A., & Lin, Jun. Magnetic Reconnection in Strongly Magnetized Regions of the Low Solar Chromosphere. United States. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa9edb
Ni, Lei, Lukin, Vyacheslav S., Murphy, Nicholas A., and Lin, Jun. Thu . "Magnetic Reconnection in Strongly Magnetized Regions of the Low Solar Chromosphere". United States. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa9edb. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1542013.
@article{osti_1542013,
title = {Magnetic Reconnection in Strongly Magnetized Regions of the Low Solar Chromosphere},
author = {Ni, Lei and Lukin, Vyacheslav S. and Murphy, Nicholas A. and Lin, Jun},
abstractNote = {Magnetic reconnection in strongly magnetized regions around the temperature minimum region of the low solar atmosphere is studied by employing MHD-based simulations of a partially ionized plasma within a reactive 2.5D multi-fluid model. It is shown that in the absence of magnetic nulls in a low β plasma, the ionized and neutral fluid flows are well-coupled throughout the reconnection region. Yet, non-equilibrium ionization–recombination dynamics play a vital role in determining the structure of the reconnection region, leading to much lower temperature increases and a faster magnetic reconnection rate as compared to simulations that assume plasma to be in ionization–recombination equilibrium. The rate of ionization of the neutral component of the plasma is always faster than recombination within the current sheet region even when the initial plasma β is as high as ${\beta }_{0}=1.46$. When the reconnecting magnetic field is in excess of a kilogauss and the plasma β is lower than 0.0145, the initially weakly ionized plasmas can become fully ionized within the reconnection region and the current sheet can be strongly heated to above $2.5\times {10}^{4}$ K, even as most of the collisionally dissipated magnetic energy is radiated away. The Hall effect increases the reconnection rate slightly, but in the absence of magnetic nulls it does not conclude in significant asymmetries or change the characteristics of the reconnection current sheet down to meter scales.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aa9edb},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 852,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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