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Title: The magnetic field of active region 11158 during the 2011 February 12-17 flares: Differences between photospheric extrapolation and coronal forward-fitting methods

We developed a coronal nonlinear force-free field (COR-NLFFF) forward-fitting code that fits an approximate nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) solution to the observed geometry of automatically traced coronal loops. In contrast to photospheric NLFFF codes, which calculate a magnetic field solution from the constraints of the transverse photospheric field, this new code uses coronal constraints instead, and this way provides important information on systematic errors of each magnetic field calculation method, as well as on the non-force-freeness in the lower chromosphere. In this study we applied the COR-NLFFF code to NOAA Active Region 11158, during the time interval of 2011 February 12-17, which includes an X2.2 GOES-class flare plus 35 M- and C-class flares. We calculated the free magnetic energy with a 6 minute cadence over 5 days. We find good agreement between the two types of codes for the total nonpotential E{sub N} and potential energy E{sub P} but find up to a factor of 4 discrepancy in the free energy E {sub free} = E{sub N} – E{sub P} and up to a factor of 10 discrepancy in the decrease of the free energy ΔE {sub free} during flares. The coronal NLFFF code exhibits a larger time variability andmore » yields a decrease of free energy during the flare that is sufficient to satisfy the flare energy budget, while the photospheric NLFFF code shows much less time variability and an order of magnitude less free-energy decrease during flares. The discrepancy may partly be due to the preprocessing of photospheric vector data but more likely is due to the non-force-freeness in the lower chromosphere. We conclude that the coronal field cannot be correctly calculated on the basis of photospheric data alone and requires additional information on coronal loop geometries.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Org. A021S, Bldg. 252, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304 (United States)
  2. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357203
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 785; 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; APPROXIMATIONS; CHROMOSPHERE; ECOSYSTEMS; ENERGY BALANCE; EXTRAPOLATION; FREE ENERGY; LIMITING VALUES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; SUN; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION