skip to main content

Title: Understanding the Initiation of the M2.4 Flare on 2017 July 14
Abstract We present both the observation and the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation of the M2.4 flare (SOL2017-07-14T02:09) of NOAA active region (AR) 12665 with a goal to identify its initiation mechanism. The observation by the Atmospheric Image Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows that the major topology of the AR is a sigmoidal configuration associated with a filament/flux rope. A persistent emerging magnetic flux and the rotation of the sunspot in the core region were observed with Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board the SDO on the timescale of hours before and during the flare, which may provide free magnetic energy needed for the flare/coronal mass ejection (CME). A high-lying coronal loop is seen moving outward in AIA EUV passbands, which is immediately followed by the impulsive phase of the flare. We perform an MHD simulation using the potential magnetic field extrapolated from the measured pre-flare photospheric magnetic field as initial conditions and adopting the observed sunspot rotation and flux emergence as the driving boundary conditions. In our simulation, a sigmoidal magnetic structure and an overlying magnetic flux rope (MFR) form as a response to the imposed sunspot rotation, and the MFR rises to erupt like a CME. more » These simulation results in good agreement with the observation suggest that the formation of the MFR due to the sunspot rotation and the resulting torus and kink instabilities were essential to the initiation of this flare and the associated coronal mass ejection. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Using multi-wavelength observations, we analysed magnetic field variations associated with a gradual X1.2 flare that erupted on January 7, 2014 in active region (AR) NOAA 11944 located near the disk center. A fast coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed following the flare, which was noticeably deflected in the south-west direction. A chromospheric filament was observed at the eruption site prior to and after the flare. We used SDO/HMI data to perform non-linear force-free field extrapolation of coronal magnetic fields above the AR and to study the evolution of AR magnetic fields prior to the eruption. The extrapolated data allowed us to detect signatures of several magnetic flux ropes present at the eruption site several hours before the event. The eruption site was located under slanted sunspot fields with a varying decay index of 1.0-1.5. That might have caused the erupting fields to slide along this slanted magnetic boundary rather than vertically erupt, thus explaining the slow rise of the flare as well as the observed direction of the resulting CME. We employed sign-singularity tools to quantify the evolutionary changes in the model twist and observed current helicity data, and found rapid and coordinated variations of current systems in both datamore »sets prior to the event as well as their rapid exhaustion after the event onset.« less
  2. Abstract The solar active region NOAA 12887 produced a strong X1.0 flare on 2021 October 28, which exhibits X-shaped flare ribbons and a circle-shaped erupting filament. To understand the eruption process with these characteristics, we conducted a data-constrained magnetohydrodynamics simulation using a nonlinear force-free field of the active region about an hour before the flare as the initial condition. Our simulation reproduces the filament eruption observed in the H α images of GONG and the 304 Å images of SDO/AIA, and suggests that two mechanisms can possibly contribute to the magnetic eruption. One is the torus instability of the preexisting magnetic flux rope (MFR) and the other is upward pushing by magnetic loops newly formed below the MFR via continuous magnetic reconnection between two sheared magnetic arcades. The presence of this reconnection is evidenced by the SDO/AIA observations of the 1600 Å brightening in the footpoints of the sheared arcades at the flare onset. To clarify which process is more essential for the eruption, we performed an experimental simulation in which the reconnection between the sheared field lines is suppressed. In this case too, the MFR could erupt, but at a much reduced rising speed. We interpret this result asmore »indicating that the eruption is not only driven by the torus instability, but additionally accelerated by newly formed and rising magnetic loops under continuous reconnection.« less
  3. Abstract In this paper, we report three interesting phenomena that occurred during the precursor phase of the X1.6 class flare on 2014 September 10. (1) The magnetic reconnection initiating the flare occurs between one of the two J-shaped magnetic flux ropes that constitute a sigmoidal structure and the overlying sheared magnetic arcade that runs across the sigmoid over its middle part. The reconnection formed an erupting structure that ultimately leads to flare onset. Another J-shaped magnetic flux rope remains unaffected during the whole eruption. The phenomenon is revealed by the observation made by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) at 94 and 131 Å. (2) Being simultaneously with starting time of the precursor, photospheric vertical electric current (VEC) around the footpoint region of the overlying magnetic arcade underwent an obvious increase, as observed by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board SDO. By only taking into account the VEC with current density over 3 σ value (1 σ : 10 mA m −2 ), we are able to pick out precursor-associated VEC increase starting from nearly the level of zero. We regard it as a kind of powering process for the magnetic reconnection betweenmore »the two magnetic loops. (3) With high-resolution narrow-band Helium 10830 Å images taken by Goode Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), we observe a narrow absorption (dark) front that runs along the erupting magnetic structure (or the erupting hot channel) and moves in the direction of the eruption during the precursor phase. Assuming the excitation mechanism of Helium atoms along the absorption front by non-thermal electrons, the phenomenon shows that the interaction between the erupted hot channel and the overlying (or surrounding) magnetic field has yielded electron acceleration.« less
  4. Abstract In order to bridge the gap between heliospheric and solar observations of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), one of the key steps is to improve the understanding of their corresponding magnetic structures like the magnetic flux ropes (MFRs). But it remains a challenge to confirm the existence of a coherent MFR before or upon the CME eruption on the Sun and to quantitatively characterize the CME-MFR due to the lack of direct magnetic field measurements in the corona. In this study, we investigate MFR structures originating from two active regions (ARs), AR 11719 and AR 12158, and estimate their magnetic properties quantitatively. We perform nonlinear force-free field extrapolations with preprocessed photospheric vector magnetograms. In addition, remote-sensing observations are employed to find indirect evidence of MFRs on the Sun and to analyze the time evolution of magnetic reconnection flux associated with the flare ribbons during the eruption. A coherent “preexisting” MFR structure prior to the flare eruption is identified quantitatively for one event from the combined analysis of the extrapolation and observation. Then the characteristics of MFRs for two events on the Sun before and during the eruption forming the CME-MFR, including the axial magnetic flux, field line twist, and reconnectionmore »flux, are estimated and compared with the corresponding in situ modeling results. We find that the magnetic reconnection associated with the accompanying flares for both events injects a significant amount of flux into the erupted CME-MFRs.« less
  5. Abstract This work analyzes the Hall magnetohydrodynamics (HMHD) and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) numerical simulations of a flaring solar active region as a test bed while idealizing the coronal Alfvén speed to be less by two orders of magnitude. HMHD supports faster magnetic reconnection and shows richer complexity in magnetic field line evolution compared to the MHD. The magnetic reconnections triggering the flare are explored by numerical simulations augmented with relevant multiwavelength observations. The initial coronal magnetic field is constructed by non-force-free extrapolation of photospheric vector magnetic field. Magnetic structure involved in the flare is identified to be a flux rope, with its overlying magnetic field lines constituting the quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) along with a three-dimensional null point and a null line. Compared to the MHD simulation, the HMHD simulation shows a higher and faster ascent of the rope together with the overlying field lines, which further reconnect at the QSL located higher up in the corona. The footpoints of the field lines match better with the observations for the HMHD case, with the central part of the flare ribbon located at the chromosphere. Additionally, field lines are found to rotate in a circular pattern in the HMHD, whereas no such rotationmore »is seen in the MHD results. Interestingly, plasma is also observed to be rotating in a cospatial chromospheric region, which makes the HMHD simulation more credible. Based on the aforementioned agreements, HMHD simulation is found to agree better with observations and thus opens up a novel avenue to explore.« less