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Title: Coronal magnetic reconnection driven by CME expansion—the 2011 June 7 event

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupt and expand in a magnetically structured solar corona. Various indirect observational pieces of evidence have shown that the magnetic field of CMEs reconnects with surrounding magnetic fields, forming, e.g., dimming regions distant from the CME source regions. Analyzing Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observations of the eruption from AR 11226 on 2011 June 7, we present the first direct evidence of coronal magnetic reconnection between the fields of two adjacent active regions during a CME. The observations are presented jointly with a data-constrained numerical simulation, demonstrating the formation/intensification of current sheets along a hyperbolic flux tube at the interface between the CME and the neighboring AR 11227. Reconnection resulted in the formation of new magnetic connections between the erupting magnetic structure from AR 11226 and the neighboring active region AR 11227 about 200 Mm from the eruption site. The onset of reconnection first becomes apparent in the SDO/AIA images when filament plasma, originally contained within the erupting flux rope, is redirected toward remote areas in AR 11227, tracing the change of large-scale magnetic connectivity. The location of the coronal reconnection region becomes bright and directly observable at SDO/AIA wavelengths, owing to the presence of down-flowing cool,more » dense (10{sup 10} cm{sup –3}) filament plasma in its vicinity. The high-density plasma around the reconnection region is heated to coronal temperatures, presumably by slow-mode shocks and Coulomb collisions. These results provide the first direct observational evidence that CMEs reconnect with surrounding magnetic structures, leading to a large-scale reconfiguration of the coronal magnetic field.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [3]
  1. University College London, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT (United Kingdom)
  2. Predictive Science Inc., 9990 Mesa Rim Road, Street 170, San Diego, CA 92121 (United States)
  3. Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, UMR 8109 (CNRS), F-92195 Meudon-Principal Cedex (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356646
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; 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; COLLISIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ERUPTION; EXPANSION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MASS; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA FILAMENT; SOLAR CORONA; SUN; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; WAVELENGTHS