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Title: Deducing the reliability of relative helicities from nonlinear force-free coronal models
Aims. We study the relative helicity of active region (AR) NOAA 12673 during a ten-hour time interval centered around a preceding X2.2 flare (SOL2017-09-06T08:57) and also including an eruptive X9.3 flare that occurred three hours later (SOL2017-09-06T11:53). In particular, we aim for a reliable estimate of the normalized self-helicity of the current-carrying magnetic field, the so-called helicity ratio, | H J |/| H 𝒱 |, a promising candidate to quantity the eruptive potential of solar ARs. Methods. Using Solar Dynamics Observatory Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager vector magnetic field data as an input, we employ nonlinear force-free (NLFF) coronal magnetic field models using an optimization approach. The corresponding relative helicity, and related quantities, are computed using a finite-volume method. From multiple time series of NLFF models based on different choices of free model parameters, we are able to assess the spread of | H J |/| H 𝒱 |, and to estimate its uncertainty. Results. In comparison to earlier works, which identified the non-solenoidal contribution to the total magnetic energy, E div / E , as selection criterion regarding the required solenoidal quality of magnetic field models for subsequent relative helicity analysis, we propose to use in addition the non-solenoidal contribution more » to the free magnetic energy, | E mix |/ E J , s . As a recipe for a reliable estimate of the relative magnetic helicity (and related quantities), we recommend to employ multiple NLFF models based on different combinations of free model parameters, to retain only those that exhibit smallest values of both E div / E and | E mix |/ E J , s at a certain time instant, to subsequently compute mean estimates, and to use the spread of the individually contributing values as an indication for the uncertainty. « less
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Award ID(s):
1848250 1854760
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Astronomy & Astrophysics
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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