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Title: Force-free field modeling of twist and braiding-induced magnetic energy in an active-region corona

The theoretical concept that braided magnetic field lines in the solar corona may dissipate a sufficient amount of energy to account for the brightening observed in the active-region (AR) corona has only recently been substantiated by high-resolution observations. From the analysis of coronal images obtained with the High Resolution Coronal Imager, first observational evidence of the braiding of magnetic field lines was reported by Cirtain et al. (hereafter CG13). We present nonlinear force-free reconstructions of the associated coronal magnetic field based on Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager vector magnetograms. We deliver estimates of the free magnetic energy associated with a braided coronal structure. Our model results suggest (Ôł╝100 times) more free energy at the braiding site than analytically estimated by CG13, strengthening the possibility of the AR corona being heated by field line braiding. We were able to appropriately assess the coronal free energy by using vector field measurements and we attribute the lower energy estimate of CG13 to the underestimated (by a factor of 10) azimuthal field strength. We also quantify the increase in the overall twist of a flare-related flux rope that was noted by CG13. From our models we find that the overall twist of themore » flux rope increased by about half a turn within 12 minutes. Unlike another method to which we compare our results, we evaluate the winding of the flux rope's constituent field lines around each other purely based on their modeled coronal three-dimensional field line geometry. To our knowledge, this is done for the first time here.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Institute of Physics/IGAM, University of Graz, Universit├Ątsplatz 5, A-8010 Graz (Austria)
  2. Max Plank Institute for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348276
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 780; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; EVOLUTION; FREE ENERGY; IMAGES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PHOTOSPHERE; RESOLUTION; SIMULATION; SOLAR CORONA; SUN; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; VECTOR FIELDS